Daniel Yergin: Natural gas from shale “the biggest innovation in energy” we’ve seen this century

Business and sustainability blogger Marc Gunther reported earlier this month that Daniel Yergin, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates Chairman and bestselling author of The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World, told Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson that shale gas is not only reshaping America’s energy landscape, it’s also “the biggest innovation in energy” we’ve seen this century, in terms of scale and impact.

The numbers don’t lie. From 2000 to 2006, shale gas production grew by 17 percent – and then by an astounding 48 percent between 2006 and 2010. New York Times columnist David Brooks reported a few weeks ago that in 2000, natural gas from shale contributed to only 1 percent of America’s total natural gas supplies; today, that number is around 30 percent and continues to grow.

The good news, according to chemical industry estimates and other industry sources, is that the U.S. has a 100-year supply of natural gas – representing great potential for America to further capitalize on the benefits of shale gas.

Along with ACC President Cal Dooley, Dr. Yergin was among five thought leaders invited to participate in Monday’s natural gas jobs and innovation forum hosted by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.

During the hearing Yergin pointed out that one million shale gas-related jobs have been created already, and that we could be looking at doubling that – but, as Dr. Yergin said, it will depend on a predictable, reasonable environment in which people are willing to invest in their future.

Photo via wsj.com

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