The benefits of the shale revolution keep growing and are extraordinary no matter who does the calculations. A researcher at Yale university calculated that the net benefits of shale gas were $100 billion per year.
And now a new study from Bank America Merrill Lynch calculates the US shale gas and oil revolutions delivered $900 million per day of benefits this April and will reach the incredible $1 billion per day mark. Most of these savings come in the form of lower natural gas and electricity bill savings but also some lower oil costs in the US.
The study also concludes the benefits are more than 2% of the USA's Gross Domestic Product and that the US economy would be in recession, or shrinking, today without the stimulus delivered by lower gas prices.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2012-07-11/natural-gas-finds-lower-energy-costs/56157080/1. Low natural gas prices and the gas boom are creating desperately needed jobs directly and indirectly.
How low are gas prices in the US as a result of the shale gas boom? USA Today writes that they are down 90%; one-fourth of the global average price; and one-sixth of the price paid by Japan. All that adds up to huge savings for consumers and the US economy.
Importantly, the shale gas revolution also demonstrates that major energy savings for consumers and slashing carbon emissions are not incompatible goals. US energy-related carbon emissions were back to 1996 levels in 2011 and will fall probably to 1991 or even 1990 levels this year, because lower carbon natural gas is displacing higher carbon coal and oil.
And substituting natural gas for coal or oil is not by any means the only way to save money and cut carbon pollution. Energy efficiency is still another large way to both reduce costs and cut heat trapping gas emissions.
Indeed, if the study quantified the value of lower carbon emissions, which it does not do, the benefits of the shale gas revolution would be even higher than the soon incredible $1 billion per day mark.