August 11, 2020

The Global Fossil Energy Boom: Perspective From China

All those natural gas wells that are popping up by the thousands across the United States — they’re starting to appear in China, too. The global fossil energy boom, which in China has mostly meant soaring production of coal, is now beginning to include natural gas. And American and European multinationals are providing financing, equipment, and technical assistance. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that China’s recoverable shale gas resources total 36 trillion cubic meters, …

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Global Shale Gas Reserves Are Huge Says Energy Department

A year ago, while touring and speaking in China, I landed for a day in Chengdu to meet with a young official at the U.S. Consulate and tour one of China’s rare organic farms. At breakfast in one of the city’s newest hotels I noticed a group of young American men, tall and robust in a Midwestern sort of way, and invited myself to their table. They were members of an executive team, dispatched from …

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Fossil Fuel Boom Is One of Several Trends Leading Ohio River Cities Back To Economic Relevance

Thomas Jefferson once said, “The Ohio is the most beautiful river on earth. Its current gentle, waters clear, and bosom smooth and unbroken by rocks and rapids, a single instance only excepted.” Downriver from Louisville, Kentucky, where the 1,000-mile long Ohio River reaches its widest points, and the mirroring waters slip by miles of unbroken hardwood forests, it’s possible to witness some of the very same beauty that inspired Jefferson. The Ohio is much in my …

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Ohio’s Fossil Fuel Boom Dims Wind and Solar Development

The story of American energy used to be we use too much. There’s not enough. And a technical breakthrough in clean alternatives will save us. How 20th century. The new narrative – really, it’s true — of American energy is this: We’re using less. A national boom in oil and gas production, engulfing 12 states from California to Pennsylvania and North Dakota to Texas, is showing we have much more than we thought. And the …

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Along A River of Descent, New Riches in Ohio

SARDIS, Ohio — Frank Ellis, who is a 51-year-old electrician from this Ohio River Valley town, spent much of his time since high school working upriver at the PPG plant in Natrium, West Virginia. He owns 140 acres and the rights to the oil and gas below them. Denny Cowley (in pix below) is a 55-year-old sheet metal worker who was raised on a dairy farm near Canton, Ohio, and 16 years ago bought a …

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Fossil Fuel Boom Shakes Ohio, Spurring Torrent of Investment and Worry Over Water

Photo © Heather Rousseau/Circle of Blue WELLSVILLE, OHIO – A torrent of investment in mineral leases, manufacturing plants, pipeline constructiion, and drilling platforms signals what business executives and state energy officials say is the most significant surge in oil and gas development in Ohio in decades. But the development of the Marcellus and Utica shales, two hydrocarbon-rich rock layers that lie beneath much of eastern Ohio, also is producing fresh public concerns about the consequences …

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Wastewater Disposal From Fracking Can Cause Earthquakes: Ohio Sets Example

It’s been generations since an industrial development as powerful and as widespread as the new oil and gas energy boom has swept across the United States. The risks — drinking water infiltration, wastewater disposal, oil well explosions, wildlife deaths, and earthquakes — are steadily emerging. The question for federal and state regulatory agencies, already under seige from diminished budgets and lawmakers intent on weakening oversight, is how quickly inspection agencies will respond to public threats. …

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Critique of Natural Gas Boom Explores More Important Risk: Fear of the Future

This week, Ohio counted over 130 drilling permits that it had approved since last summer to a select group of big energy companies to drill for oil and gas in counties along the upper Ohio River. The state says 45 wells, aimed at the oil- and gas-saturated Utica shale, have already been drilled. River towns that have been growing old and shedding their talented young people for two generations are suddenly awake with jobs and …

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New American Energy Boom, A Reprieve and a Reckoning

Little by little America seems to be catching on to the unexpected oil and natural gas production boom engulfing the United States. The 40-year catechism of U.S. energy, that supplies are going down and Americans use too much, is being completely rewritten. Americans, in fact, are using less energy. Meanwhile, a convergence of new exploration and drilling techniques, and rising global demand that is keeping prices high, is producing what looks to be the most …

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Gas, Steel, and Clean Energy in Confrontation in Ohio

Making the complex simpler to understand is one of the guiding missions of my life as a journalist. In the last several years, in reporting from Australia, Europe, Asia, and North America, I’ve devoted much of my time to reporting on global energy issues, particularly the coal production and clean energy surge in China; the gas and oil boom in North America, and the promising rise and troubled fall of clean energy prospects in the …

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