As news outlets across America take a more rigorous look at shale gas and fracking issues, it’s encouraging to see how the media coverage is finally starting to cut through the oil industry’s misleading rhetoric to explore the realities of the myth of gas as a viable ‘bridge fuel.’
The gas industry’s loud-mouthed front group, Energy In Depth, repeatedly attacked The New York Times for their excellent Drilling Down series last year, focusing particular ire on journalist Ian Urbina. EID’s penchant for attacking the messenger shows no sign of letting up in 2012, but as other news outlets look more closely, they are not only confirming what the NY Times series found, but also adding additional evidence of the many problems with shale gas development.
The latest effort from Bloomberg News, “Shale Bubble Inflates on Near-Record Prices,” illustrates how the media’s grasp of the unconventional energy industry landscape has evolved and improved in recent months.
This excellent reporting by Bloomberg confirms many of the facts that The New York Times reported last summer in “Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush” and “Behind Veneer, Doubt on Future of Natural Gas.”
While many major outlets have covered the myriad environmental and public health risks of fracking and related drilling practices, the NY Times and now Bloomberg have both exposed the fact that the economics of risky and expensive unconventional gas recovery simply don’t match up with industry geologists’ claims of a “nearly limitless” supply.
Investors are increasingly taking notice of the unpredictable nature of this industry and questioning its risky behavior. Is there really as much gas down there as the industry claims? If so, how much is economically recoverable?