Economics of Gas Fracking Is Called Into Question

Ian Urbina of The New York Times strikes again

1 min read
Economics of Gas Fracking Is Called Into Question

The U.S. natural gas industry and its critics may be starting to wonder who that masked man is. Sunday's New York Times led with a major investigative article by Ian Urbina raising questions about whether the natural gas industry has overhyped the economic promise of gas fracking, with one source even calling the business a kind of Ponzi scheme and another comparing the conduct of individual companies to Enron's.

A follow-up in today's Times raises questions about the extent to which the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration and other agencies have relied on the gas industry for information about itself.

Earlier in the year, Urbina wrote another high-impact investigative article about gas fracking in which he raised important issues about water management, especially the regulation of fracking fluid disposal in Pennsylvania.

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

Keep Reading ↓Show less