Valuable messages often make an entire audience uncomfortable at points. I suspect Maria van der Hoeven, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, achieved that distinction in Houston last week.
First, she made some environmentalists squirm by saying that: "Natural gas in the power sector has caused emissions to fall rapidly. And the shale gas revolution made this possible." She added that coal would replace 75% of the gas now being used if fracking were banned, a fact of life but denied by more than a few. www.fuelfix.com/blog/2012/08/17/fracking-concerns-are-legitimate-international-chief-says.
She also said that concerns about fracking must be taken seriously and can stop gas development, unless they are properly addressed. She made it clear that she felt the gas industry is not meeting this standard around the world. Her exact words were: "There is a very real possibility that public opposition to drilling for shale gas will stop the unconventional gas revolution and fracking in its tracks."
The wise within the environmental community and the natural gas industry would act on the words of Maria van der Hoeven.