Should shale gas live up to its promise, much will change throughout the world. Even the global configuration of trade and power will be altered as the US shifts from being an importer of energy to being an exporter. How all this will affect the environment is still not clear.
In November 2012, while the world focused on the US presidential elections, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released the World Energy Outlook 2012 that projects the emergence of the US as the world’s energy superpower – a finding that arguably carries more significance in decades to come than the presidential elections do.
The IEA reported that “by around 2020, the US is projected to become the largest global oil producer (overtaking Saudi Arabia until the mid-2020s)…The result is a continued fall in US oil imports, to the extent that North America becomes a net oil exporter around 2030.”
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