This week the International Energy Agency (IEA) released their annual ‘World Energy Outlook,’ and it’s getting a lot of attention for its predictions that the U.S. will soon outpace Saudi Arabia as a producer of oil.
That’s projected to happen by 2020, according to the report, thanks to a hydraulic fracturing-led boom in domestic drilling. Reserves of oil and gas in the U.S. and Canada once considered impossible to reach are now just a frack job away. But there’s a downside to this boom that hasn’t garnered much attention in the coverage of the report: climate change could be exacerbated as a result.
“The world is still failing to put the global energy system onto a more sustainable path,” the report says. The IEA says that factoring in emissions from new energy development will lead to a “long-term average global temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Celsius.” That’s largely due to the fact that increased drilling will meet new demand in China, India and the Middle East. As natural gas replaces coal in the U.S., that coal is being shipped to Europe, where gas is expensive. The fossil fuel industry enjoyed $523 billion in subsidies last year, the report says, more than six times the amount offered to renewables. The deck appears stacked in favor of continued reliance on fossil fuels.
For full article, visit stateimpact.npr.org.
Is a policy analyst consultant for TCAP, a coalition of political subdivisions in Texas that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because energy costs are typically a significant budget item to our members, TCAP is consistently looking for ways to save our members money, through cost-saving contracts, energy efficiency or demand response programs.