While President Joe Biden begs every authoritarian oil producer for more energy to push down gas prices, the eastern United States is home to the largest undeveloped natural gas reserve in the world. If it were ever commercialized, it could render America a net energy exporter.
CO2 Coalition is a non-profit organization that is unknown to most. Its purpose is “educating thought leaders, policymakers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy.” It was founded in 2015 by world-renowned scientists, including Dr. Will Happer.
One of the contributors is geologist Gregory Wrightstone. In a recent blog post, he wrote about a fact that almost no one knows: There are only three known mega-giant gas fields worldwide. Two of them are in Appalachia, and the last one is in Qatar.
A giant gas field has more than three trillion cubic feet (TCF) of recoverable gas. A super-giant is greater than 30 TCF, and a mega-giant has more than 300 TCF. The total gas-in-place in the Marcellus and Utica reservoirs is nearly 3,700 TCF, more than the top ten global conventional gas fields combined! Of this total, around 1,000-2,000 TCF is estimated to be recoverable.
By comparison, the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean is only 23 TCF but was described as a “game-changer” for Israel. It puts the Appalachian fields in perspective.
Although there are physical challenges to extracting this gas in a profitable and environmentally sound way, the most significant challenge, by far, is political. Most of the gas is unrecoverable due to red tape and environmental activism that, currently, no drill is strong enough to penetrate. New York State, for instance, has a total ban on fracking.
Former President Donald Trump did much to remove the regulations preventing the commercialization of natural gas in America, which rendered the nation energy independent for the first time in 75 years. However, Biden’s top priority when he entered the White House was to undo all of Trump’s deregulation. Therefore, America paradoxically struggles with high energy prices while bathing in energy reserves.
Suppose America’s natural gas potential is fully developed. In that case, the nation will produce so much energy that it would push down domestic prices and undercut the economic strength of dubious regimes such as Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia.
However, America’s energy independence is being held hostage to a radical climate change agenda that places global ideological interests above the average American’s well-being. Despite the potential for being a game-changer at home and abroad, energy independence has not been a top priority for either the Democrats or the Republicans in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections. Could it become a prioritized issue in the 2024 presidential election?