After Pushing Peak Oil Theory, Activists Want to Stop Fracking Because We Have “Too Much” Oil and Gas

  • Date: 09/07/16
  • Matt Mandel, Energy In Depth

new report from anti-energy activist group Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) claims that the fossil fuel reserves under lease on federal lands are already so large, new federal leasing for energy production should be stopped.

The report, titled Over-Leased: How Production Horizons of Already Leased Federal Fossil Fuels Will Outlast Global Carbon Budgets, states that the “production horizons” – the number of years production can continue – for current federal leases extend for another 28 years for natural gas and 39 years for crude oil. Based off of these production horizons, the report claims that we will still be producing oil and natural gas on existing leases before the hypothesized “carbon budget” is met.

Of course, the facts contradict this belief that the production of oil and natural gas through hydraulic fracturing will increase CO2 emissions. The United States is the world’s largest oil and gas producer, but the only country in the world to significantly reduce emissions – thanks to fracking and natural gas use. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)credits fracking with being an “an important reason for the reduction of GHG emissions in the United States.”

Interestingly, it wasn’t long ago that environmentalists and other critics of oil and natural gas development promulgated the myth of “Peak Oil”. Arguing that we reached the maximum level of oil output, these detractors claimed that oil production should be slowed or stopped to prevent economic disaster and complete resource depletion. Additionally, environmentalists claimed that because of peak oil, other forms of energy would soon be dominant, so why fight the inevitable.

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