From the Daily Telegraph:
Geologists have known for decades about gas trapped in shale and other rock formations, but only in the past 20 years has technology existed that allows it to be captured. In America, hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, has transformed the energy supply. Shale now provides a third of its gas, up from 2 per cent a decade ago. British companies now pay four times as much for gas as their American counterparts – not something that global chemical companies can ignore when deciding where to build a new factory. Docks built to import gas into America are now exporting it.
This has been nothing short of an energy revolution, and it could well happen here. When 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas deposits were discovered in Lancashire last year – enough to power Britain for 65 years – it was without doubt the biggest energy find since North Sea oil in the Sixties. It says much about the hysterical nature of the British climate change debate, however, that this was almost entirely ignored.
Shale emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal, and is far cheaper to produce. The biggest deposits are in China, so passing fracking technology on to the Chinese could do more to reduce global carbon emissions than any airport runway ban. Yet the environmentalists have greeted shale with either complete silence, or outright hostility.
Instead of it being “Drill, baby, drill” we should be saying “Frack, baby, frack”!
Fracking is also helping people out of poverty in India.
In just one year the price of guar has surged tenfold, from about 30 rupees (about 50 U.S. cents) to around 300 rupees for each kilogram of the precious seed.
Behind the phenomenal price rise is a surge in demand.
Oil and gas companies in the United States have developed a massive appetite for guar gum powder — a key ingredient in a process called fracking, which is used to extract natural and shale gas from beneath the Earth’s surface.
Guar gum powder has unique binding, thickening and emulsifying qualities which make it ideal for fracking, explains B.D. Agarwal, the founder and managing director of Vikas WSP, an Indian company that specializes in producing the product.
So far, oil companies have not been able to find a suitable substitute, he says.
Since 90% of the world’s guar is grown in the desert belt of northwest India, local farmers in this poor area are enjoying the benefit of the guar rush. …
In May this year, Vikas gave 15 kilograms of guar seeds to 200,000 farmers and guaranteed them returns.
“Everyone in the village is now growing guar,” Kumar’s wife, Dayawanti, says. “No one talks of anything else. It’s changed the village. If you came here two years ago, you wouldn’t see joy on anyone’s face.”
Her neighbors’ house is bursting with joy. Musicians beat traditional drums to welcome guests as the community gets together to celebrate a marriage.
The bridegroom — also a guar farmer — says he would never have been able to afford this pomp if it wasn’t for guar.
So fracking is good for the environment, good for energy and good for helping people out of poverty.
So why are the Greens trying to get it banned?