Natural gas can play a vital role in the evolution of our energy consumption into a environmentally friendly, affordable and renewable energy world. Over the last couple years, massive amounts of natural gas have been found in tight shale rock formations worldwide. Advances in technology including horizontal drilling and fracturing have made the extraction of this resource economically feasible.
Shale gas is a cleaner fossil fuel compared to coal and oil, with about half the carbon emissions. By increasing the amount of natural gas used in the North America energy mix and reducing the amount of coal and oil used in electricity plants and transportation network, we can reduce carbon emissions effectively while developing alternative energy sources.
However, like oil and conventional gas, the shale gas is also a finite resource. There are vast reserves that will fill demand for decades but this presents the world with perhaps some breathing room to prepare and plan for the evolution of our global energy needs.