Monday, March 18, 2013

Either... or...

Are oil and gas developers at eternal odds with the environmentalists? As Forbes reports, public policy is often reactive, necessitating immediate action after the fact. If things get desperate, more oil drilling would occur to meet demand and to curb prices both in California and elsewhere.
At issue now is the Monterey Shale in California, a formation holding more shale oil than anywhere else in the country. It could be a potential gold mine if developers could find a way to extract it and if regulators could appease the environmental community there. Governor Jerry Brown says that California needs that oil wealth and that the state’s regulators could ensure that the drilling techniques meet strict standards. “We want to get the greenhouse gas emissions down, but we also want to keep our economy going.” The universal dilemma stated there!

The region holds 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil, says the U.S.
Energy Information Administration. According to a study done by the University of Southern California, tapping the Monterey Shale would bring in 2.8 million new jobs while raising an additional $25 billion in new revenues by the end of the decade.

Monterey geological formation is uncommon, and at present, hydraulic fracturing cannot work there. Fracking is the controversial method by which producers extract tight oil and gas — a process that uses a concoction of water, sand and chemicals to break those deposits free from the rocks where they rest a mile beneath the ground.

Throughout the country, new areas are opening up to shale development, with restrictions. While industry is complaining that such oversight is burdensome, environmentalists are dismayed that pristine regions are even accessible. How does one promote economic development while limiting emissions and degradation – that is the billion dollar question, clearly for nations across the globe.

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