Engineers look at the Cuadrilla shale fracking facility on October 7, 2012 in Preston, Lancashire.
Engineers look at the Cuadrilla shale fracking facility on October 7, 2012 in Preston, Lancashire. - 
Listen To The Story

Booming production of North American shale gas – through the controversial drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – is overtaking our energy conversation, overturning our old assumptions.


If you need to understand what has happened to U.S. natural gas production, just look at this chart:

Among other predictions, proponents of the technology are suggesting natural gas can move us away from a high-carbon era of coal-based electricity, and towards a zero-carbon renewable future. In other words, transition from coal to natural gas to renewables. Meaning that coal is beginning and renewables are the end point. Natural gas as bridge fuel.

In our podcast we asked energy and climate senior fellow Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations, who has a new paper out on the topic, to truth squad that idea.

Also in the Petro-State podcast: the week's Energy Numbers. And we play BS Detector with Levi, asking him to expose myths on either side of the natural gas/fracking debate.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Scott Tong at @tongscott