More and more influential journals and organizations are noticing that shale gas has caused US carbon emissions to fall substantially. Last week it was the International Energy Agency, estimating US emissions had fallen 450 million tons or 1.5 times all the emissions from Pennsylvania and about 1.5% of world emissions. All largely because shale gas crashed the price of gas and made it competitive with coal.
Yesterday, in its "Fracking Good News" article, the Economist magazine takes note of the cheaper energy and lower emissions made possible by shale gas. See http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/05/americas-falling-carbon-dioxide-emissions.
The Economist notes that, while carbon emissions are falling in the US, coal is enjoying growth in Europe. Why? Unlike in the USA, European natural gas is expensive, and coal is much cheaper than gas. The Economist even states that emissions may begin rising in Europe as a result.
That would be truly extraordinary, since Europe is in a depression or recession, with massive economic contraction in large sections of it, and a rising risk that the Euro itself could dissolve.
Meanwhile in the USA, the economy has been growing since July 1, 2009, millions of jobs have been created, and unemployment has been falling. Moreover, US energy related carbon emissions will fall another 150 million tons in 2012. Again thanks primarily to shale gas making natural gas cost competitive with coal in the USA.
Much is different across the Atlantic. The Economist story is well worth reading.