The gas transition
Up until now the controversy over fracking for natural gas has centered upon material impacts to environment, infrastructure and quality of life. People are right to be alarmed and to pursue strategies to control or eliminate this serious threat to our well-being.
George Gurdieff, a 20th century mystic and teacher of psycho-spiritual development, defined sin as anything unnecessary and this put all of contemporary western life under a thick lens of self examination for his students. From an economic point of view, it may seem that the revision toward natural gas replacing oil fits this definition:
There is a glut of natural gas presently and prices for natural gas are at historic lows and declining rapidly. Many of the players are doomed to go out or be consolidated under the weight of debt of financing land leases, well development and the natural resources wasted in production.
At least one gas field producer has just sold land leases of millions of American acres to a Spanish energy company to raise cash to continue operations. What regulations are foreign companies under to conduct operations in ethical, safe and healthful practice on our land? How will foreigns be obligated to mitigate and restore the damage to land, air, water and peoples lives if the industry continues without conscious regulation?
Are you still counting on Congress to get this right? Regulation only works where there is enforcement and the George Bush Administration gave us some hard lessons about what corporations and banks will do when lawful regulation is obstructed from the top.
If it seems as all of this “fracking” business has come up suddenly, it’s because many producers are racing the clock to bore holes in the earth before land lease options expire and their previous speculative lease investments evaporate. Can corporations claim deductions for these investment losses from taxes owed the American taxpayer? Sounds like the banking industry, doesn’t it? Taxpayers will cover these speculative losses in the end.
We presently don’t have the infrastructure to realize the benefit of this dreamy transition to natural gas and it will be up to the taxpayer and the private sector to finance the development.
The oil/gas production price ratio is inverse and this means higher oil prices ahead being promoted by the gas glut. Why would we do this to ourselves?
Renewable energy sources make all this misery unnecessary.