Obama Advisor Says Shale Gas Drilling is Here to Stay

get used to itDaniel Yergin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and member of President Obama’s energy subcommittee examining shale gas, says the debate about whether or not to drill for shale gas is already over and decided—shall gas drilling is here to stay.

Daniel Yergin, one of the most influential voices in the world of energy, says shale gas is here to stay.

"Shale gas has come on really fast," Yergin, an author and energy analyst, said in an interview Monday. "But people don’t realize it’s 30 percent of our gas production. It’s not a question of whether to do it or not. It’s happened."

Yergin, who is a member of a presidential shale-gas advisory commission, said it’s important to develop resources like Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale "responsibly," adhering to best environmental practices while responding to local community concerns.

Yergin is in Philadelphia to speak Monday night at the Free Library, where he is promoting his latest book, The Quest, a comprehensive examination of the energy business. Yergin won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for a history of the oil industry, The Prize, and is chairman of IHS Camridge Energy Research Associates.

"Shale gas really could change the economics across the energy realm," he said. "It’s a relatively low-carbon, low-cost fuel."

He said the growth of natural gas supplies will mostly affect electricity production and the petrochemical industries, though he sees only limited applications as a motor fuel, as some natural gas advocates are proposing.*

*American Planning Association/Philadelphia Inquirer (Sep 26, 2011) – Energy expert Yergin: Shale gas here to stay