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What if the “Shale Revolution” is really just a “Shale Bubble?”

In the seven years since hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has brought a surge of new oil and natural gas production to the United States, our nation’s public conversation about energy has stalled. Politicians, business leaders, pundits, and even some environmental groups now repeat the same conventional wisdom: The risks of fracking for tight oil and shale gas are far outweighed by the decades of abundant, affordable domestic energy we’re getting in return.

Based on optimistic U.S. Department of Energy forecasts and industry rhetoric, this conventional wisdom has had major implications on federal, state, and local energy and climate policy — including the push to fast-track Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and lift the oil export ban, shut down coal-fired power plants, transition vehicle fleets, and more. These may sound great in theory, but what if they are based on a false premise?

Since 2011, Post Carbon Institute has been the primary national voice questioning the prevailing view of the “shale revolution.” We’ve released groundbreaking reports, held public and policymaker briefings, interviewed with media, produced creative messaging campaigns, and partnered with other organizations concerned about the rush to develop unconventional oil and gas resources.