Sunday, 27 January 2013

The shale gas difference: US consumer price for electricity only about a third of the price in Germany

"The average American pays about 9 eurocents per kilowatt hour for electricity; the average German household price currently is 26 cents per kilowatt hour and rising."
Philip D. Murphy, US ambassador

On January 23 Philip D. Murphy, US ambassador to Germany, gave a speech on the American shale gas revolution, which hopefully will be read by German environment minister Peter Altmaier as well as other top Berlin decision makers. 
Altmaier, who was interviewed today on German television today, was clearly not well informed about the game changing shale gas revolution and its repercussions in the US and the world. 
Here are some of the points made by ambassador Murphy:
When businesses and consumers pay lower electricity rates, they have more money to spend on other things, besides keeping the lights on.  This contributes to growing consumption and investment.  The average American pays about 9 eurocents per kilowatt hour for electricity; the average German household price currently is 26 cents per kilowatt hour and rising.  Both the International Energy Agency and the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie have noted that low U.S. gas and energy prices are giving American industry a competitive edge.  Low energy prices have led to a “re-industrialization” as manufacturers are investing hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. chemical, fertilizer, steel, aluminum, tire and plastics plants and exports of these goods are surging.
One of the most astounding outcomes of the abundance of natural gas in the US is an unprecedented reduction in carbon dioxide and other particulate emissions.  There are 50 million more American energy consumers today than there were 20 years ago, yet U.S. emissions today are back to the levels of 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit and the first Handelsblatt Energy Forum. -
What is truly stunning is the International Energy Agency’s prediction that the United States will be a net oil exporter by 2030.  Reversing the traditional pattern of U.S. energy trade will improve the U.S. trade deficit—oil and gas exports could reduce our current account deficit by 60 percent by 2020, according to a recent study.  The same study estimated that adding U.S. oil exports to global markets, combined with reduced U.S. oil consumption because of higher vehicle fuel efficiency standards instituted by the Obama administration, should reduce global oil prices by 14 to 16 percent. -
Many people have seen internet videos of tap water “catching fire.”  It turns out that that in every documented case, this wasn’t caused by fracking, but by residents accidently drilling water wells into naturally-occurring methane reservoirs.  In some rare instances, faulty well sealing – not fracking – led to methane migration, reinforcing the need for the kind of “best practices” that Energy Secretary Chu’s team came up with.  Transparency builds trust; and the committee also recommended full disclosure of fracking fluid chemicals, which companies are doing on the website.  Obviously, extracting methane is the purpose of drilling for natural gas, so the firms involved have every incentive to minimize and eliminate losses.  But the bottom line is that tens of thousands of wells have been safely drilled and thousands of fracking operations are being conducted in the United States under federal and state regulations that provide strong protection for individuals and the environment.
(text boldened by NNoN)
Germans, as well as other Europeans should look at the facts, not at the lies and propaganda produced by the US and international anti-fracking lobby!  

No comments: