The most important element of environment and business news in this GallonDaily article may not be the trashing that the shale gas industry has received in the New York Times but that a major newspaper of the New York Times’ reputation has engaged in a kind of information gathering and dissemination more often associated with WikiLeaks. If other mainstream media follow suit, the quantity and, perhaps, the quality of environmental information available to the public could increase very dramatically.
In an article on the front page of the New York edition of today’s New York Times entitled Behind Veneer, Doubt on Future Of Natural Gas, reporter Ian Urbina suggests that industry reports may be massively overstating the amount of shale gas that can be extracted from the ground. The article suggests that the shale gas industry, currently attracting very significant investment, may already be set up for failure and financial collapse.
The NY Times’ article is based on thousands of emails and reports obtained by the Times. Hundreds of these documents, almost all extremely critical of the shale gas industry, its production estimates, and the purported role of the Energy Information Administration of the US Department of Energy in helping to promote shale gas extraction, have been published by the New York Times in redacted form. The purpose of the redaction is to protect the sources, many of whom, the Times states, were not authorized by their employers to provide them to the media.
GallonDaily welcomes the New York Times’ initiative to carry out such an in-depth probe of an area of energy exploration and development with such potentially high environmental impact. We last carried an article about shale gas entitled More on Fracking Flap in GallonDaily on 18 April 2011: see https://gallondaily.com/2011/04/18/more-on-fracking-flap/
Today’s New York Times article is available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/us/27gas.html?scp=1&sq=shale%20gas&st=cse
The leaked documents can be viewed by following the Multimedia link from the news story or by going directly to http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/natural-gas-drilling-down-documents-5.html