18 Jan 2012:
Natural Gas Boom to Slow
Growth of U.S. Renewables, Report Says
The sheer abundance of recently discovered natural gas resources in the U.S. could drive down gas and electricity prices
in the next few decades, yield an overall increase in energy use, and stunt the nation’s
still-emerging renewable energy sector, a new report says. Using economic modeling, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that relatively cheap natural gas — much of it to be extracted from underground shale formations — could represent an increasingly large share of U.S. electricity use, particularly in the face of a weak national climate policy. By 2050, the report says, this growth could cause national energy use to increase, possibly leading to a jump in greenhouse gas emissions of 13 percent above 2005 levels. Absent this supply of natural gas — which has become increasingly available as a result of improved drilling methods, including the emergence of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” — the U.S. could have expected emissions to decline 2 percent, the report says. The ascendance of natural gas could also retard the development of carbon capture technology, the report says.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.