This is a transcript of the NPR piece on shale gas. Please follow the link to the associated audio.
Amid all the talk of alternative energy sources like wind power or solar, there’s an old-fashioned fuel that might be even more important. Natural gas is cleaner than other fossil fuels and it’s produced in the USA. This week, we’re going to take a look at the role of natural gas in our energy future.
NPR’s Tom Gjelten is helping us. He’s in the studios. Tom, good morning.
TOM GJELTEN: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: Okay. Many people already use natural gas to heat our homes. What are the possibilities of doing something else with it?
GJELTEN: Well, for a long time gas was not taken all that seriously. I mean, it was a nice fuel but the view was that there just wasn’t enough of it to really get excited about it, and that’s what changed. It now looks like we have way more natural gas in this country than we’d thought we did. This could change the whole energy picture.
It’s the idea that there is more supply of natural gas than we thought.
INSKEEP: Were there new discoveries?
GJELTEN: No. What we’re talking about is actually gas that we’ve known has been there all along, but it’s embedded in rock, shale rock, a mile below the surface of the earth. And until just a few years ago, it didn’t seem practical to get the gas out of the rock. So, when we tallied gas reserves in the country, we didn’t even bother to count the gas that’s in that shale rock.