"Obama’s bet on gas throws caution to the wind."

Edward Luce in the FT: “….That, at least, is the assumption. But what if it is wrong? According to Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm, the US is set to exhaust its supply of “economically recoverable” natural gas supplies by 2030.”
“That estimate is based solely on existing projects, and excludes those that have been announced but not yet started. It also makes the conservative assumption that there will be just three liquefied natural gas export terminals in operation by then, as opposed to the six already in the works. Everyone is piling into the “dash for gas” on the basis that US gas prices will remain cheap as far as the eye can see. Long before 2030, however, US producers will have been pushed into the more expensive shale formations.
Industry specialists protest that new technology will have opened up non-economic supplies by then. Yet gas euphoria has pushed risk management out of the window. However cushioned the basket might look, it is unwise to put all your eggs in it. Next month President Barack Obama’s administration will issue a new set of emissions rules that are likely to put most existing US coal-fired power plants out of business. Coal was always the largest source of US electricity. Gas has now overtaken it.
….Likewise, Mr Obama set great store in the scaling up of alternative energy supplies such as wind and solar. But in each case the numbers have disappointed. Just 5 per cent of US power comes from non-hydroelectric renewables. In its current mood, Congress looks unlikely to approve the renewal of alternative energy tax credits, which will further limit their potential.
….Somehow, it has dwindled to just “one of the above”. Everything except gas is falling by the wayside.
….The risk of supply shocks is also underestimated. For example, fracking has essentially ground to a halt in California and other western states because of acute water shortages. If you believe the climate change models, drought in the US southwest is not a temporary phenomenon.”