WASHINGTON, DC—Resources for the Future (RFF) has released a new blog post from RFF Senior Research Associate Daniel Raimi, titled “Getting Real on the Economic and Environmental Impacts of the Shale Revolution.” This post comes in response to a report released last week by the US Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), titled “The Value of US Energy Innovation and Policies Supporting the Shale Revolution,” which coincided with President Trump’s appearance at the ninth annual Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Raimi, an expert on fracking and the shale revolution, warns that the CEA’s assertions about the environmental benefits of deregulation are not well-supported by the evidence.
Raimi argues that the report accurately characterizes recent innovation in the oil and gas sector and the resulting economic benefits experienced by US energy consumers; however, the CEA’s assertions about shale’s environmental impacts are concerning because they:
- overestimate the effects shale has had on reducing US greenhouse gas emissions;
- minimize the role that energy efficiency and renewables have played in reducing emissions in the power sector;
- ignore how emissions have increased due to lower natural gas and oil prices driven by US shale development; and
- limit the scope of analysis to account for only the impacts of greenhouse gases, which effectively ignores the variety of other hazards that arise from shale development, such as risks to local water supplies, air quality, and public health.
Raimi concludes, “If the CEA wants to support policies that further boost the economic benefits arising from the shale revolution, there is ample evidence to make the case. But the notion that further deregulation of the oil and gas sector could lead to improved environmental outcomes is questionable, at best.”
Read about the five key points that complicate the assertions the CEA makes on the environmental impacts of the shale revolution in Raimi’s full blog post here.
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