Obama's new emphasis on gas wasn't a one day wonder as he stopped in Colorado and Vegas to hail gas.

This was him in Las Vegas:

 Visiting Las Vegas today, President Obama officially opened the country's first natural gas trucking corridor, a stretch linking California's Long Beach with Utah's Salt Lake City, along which properly equipped medium- and heavy-duty trucks can tank up on compressed natural gas. CNG-fueled buses will be familiar to passengers in cities from Delhi to New York. But using CNG as the main fuel for trucks is a relatively new idea, first given a high-profile pitch several years ago by famed oilman T. Boone Pickens in his "Pickens plan."

As John Baldwin of CNG constantly points out, CNG buses aren't familiar to Londoners, and this is the first Olympics in over 20 years with no natural gas buses.

To say that CNG is a relatively new idea as fuel for trucks is famous British understatement. The UK narrative is of constantly rising fuel prices and cuts of oil at Qatar or Coryton leading to doom, doom, doom.

The amount of ignorance about European shale is going to lessen as the role of shale in the success of the US economy becomes more evident. It will also lessen when the President's views become as more widely known as those of the fractivists.

When a UK or French journalist comes to the subject afresh, and he has a choice of narratives between this 

 In his State of the Union address, Obama called for government to develop a roadmap for responsible shale gas production and said his administration would move forward with "common-sense" new rules to make sure drillers protect the public.

"America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk," Obama said.

or this or this

 There are also some very good arguments that you can use to counter the spurious claims the plain  lies of the gas companies

 ... I think they'll go for the name brand commentator.

This will become more evident through the year as the political situation develops. European political editors are going to hear about shale for the first time and ask their energy editors if fracking is so bad how come Obama likes it? Similary, economic editors seeing accelleration in the US economy as we go into reverse, are going to ask UK energy experts since when does the United States have a monopoly on geology?



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  • Let's not forget that Europe has long been active in using gas for transport, perhaps more than the US, so there is already a market here: LPG (for the "wet" co-products); GTL (Shell's V-max diesel); even Hydrogen.<br />You are spot on in anticipating the pressure from industry and consumers as the benefits of shale reach mainstream awareness. Even in the US the show is only just beginning. Out of curiosity, I took a look at a report on fertiliser. The US has a deficit in Nitrogen fertiliser while Europe has a surplus which is exported. Gas is 80 - 90% of the cost of N2 fertiliser so it is pretty clear what is going to happen. Wait till the European farmers wake up to their cost disadvantage....and they own much of the land where shale might be found.<br /><br />Update on fertiliser: plans to re-commission and/or expand capacity add up to approx 150 bcf per year of new gas demand although this is a long way short of the 40% drop in capacity 10 - 20 years ago.

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