Shale gas proponents argue that it’s clean, cheap and abundantly available here at home — three benefits no other single fossil fuel shares. But a new report from Stanford’s Energy Modeling Forum finds that burning more natural gas wouldn’t do much to decrease North America’s carbon footprint.
This figure shows ten models for how increased production of shale gas will affect North American emissions. Light blue bars show a scenario in which shale production is low. Dark blue bars show a scenario in which shale production is high. Green bars show a scenario in which politicians implement some sort of carbon tax in 2013 that costs at most $25 per tonne of CO2 in 2013 but increases incrementally to $75 per tonne in 2035.