Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The road to clean air and energy self-sufficiency

So much has been said about the development of the energy industry in the US, particularly with the growth of the shale gas industry. The boom in natural gas supplies could usher in accelerated growth of the economy as the industries that heavily use the resource could benefit greatly from lower costs.

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Meanwhile, protests from environmentalists have also been trying to block further efforts to take advantage of the shale gas revolution as there are dangers present in the haphazard growth of the industry, which could reverse whatever progress the nation has had in environmental protection and battling climate change.

President Obama has made it clear that he wants to pursue an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy – a strategy that focuses on both the growth of clean energy and the development of domestic oil and gas resources.

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The problem is that such strategy does not seem to be feasible. Sacrifices will have to be made in favor of one agenda over another. If clean air is the priority, then efforts made for the development of the shale gas could be hindered.

Experts and analysts, however, have noted that there may still be an option that takes both sides of the debate into account and will result in better outcomes. Good regulation seems to be the key to the conundrum, and it will take high standards and regulation, the participation of environmental groups in policy-making, and the strict compliance of those involved in the energy industry to ensure that shale gas development remains sustainable.

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Tightening the rules on the operations of companies in the shale gas industry may be seen as a hindrance but, ultimately, it is necessary to ensure upward development that is safe and non-hazardous to the environment.

This Twitter account for Dr. Ali Ghalambor shares the latest developments in the shale gas industry.

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