The NYT's Drilling Down Series featured the wild charge that shale gas was a Ponzi scheme and rooted this fear, or perhaps hope for some, in the public mind. Loving attacks on gas production, whether they be true or false mattering not, Rolling Stone Magazine as well rolled with the NYT's Ponzi scheme invention, in its scandal-mongering, fear-inducing writing.
Partially because prominent publications warmly embraced the Ponzi charge, this falsehood will have adherents, no matter what the actual production from shale gas is. Some folks will even say with a straight face both that shale gas is a Ponzi scheme and so much gas exists that it will destroy renewable energy. I have heard several times both of those statements in the same conversation.
For those interested in facts and staying in touch with reality, the shale gas production numbers uproot and discard the Ponzi scheme charge.
From May 2011 to May 2012, national shale gas output rose another 24% to reach an incredible 25.58 billion cubic feet per day. http://fuelfix.com/blog/2012/07/24/u-s-says-shale-gas-output-rose-24-in-may-from-year-earlier/. The surge in production led to a enormous new supply and a cratering of the gas price as supply outstripped demand, even though gas displaced large amounts of coal generation over the last 12 months.
Shale gas now provides about 37% of America's natural gas, with about a quarter of our shale gas coming from the Marcellus.
And since natural gas provides about 26% of America's total energy, shale gas provides nearly 10% of America's total energy.
Those are big, real production numbers, the very opposite of a Ponzi scheme fraud. But don't expect the NYT or Rolling Stone Magazine to run front page stories saying they were wrong. Don't expect them to drive a stake through this vampire-like lie that they did so much to promote. Others will have to labor to undo this piece of damage to public understanding.