NYT’s “Dewey-Defeats-Truman” Moment on Shale?The United States produced more natural gas in 2010 than at any point in the previous 37 years, a stunning reversal of fortune given the country’s supply picture earlier this decade, and one that could not have been possible without massive volumes of American energy that continue to be generated from shale.
So what happens from here? By now, you’ve likely heard the stories and seen the estimates: with everyone from IEA to EIA to PGC to MIT projecting a future in which shale’s production trajectory continues along an aggressive upward path, delivering literally quadrillions of cubic feet of clean-burning natural gas to generations of consumers not only in the United States, but around the world. It’s a view that’s supported by the preponderance of science and a majority of scientists, not to mention one that’s continuously reinforced by new data.
Over the weekend, The New York Times sought to advance a contrarian view on the subject, and to that view The Times is more than entitled. What it’s not entitled to, at least in our view, is to represent its piece as an original investigation; not when the story was essentially outsourced to a well-known critic of the industry whose predictions on shale’s imminent collapse grow less defensible (and more difficult to find on his website) by the day. Nor do we believe The Times is entitled to mislead its readers on the expertise of those whose “leaked” emails — many written in 2008 and 2009 – are used to form the basis of the story, especially when real-world production numbers from 2010 and 2011 directly contradict those accounts.
Against that backdrop, we attempt below (after the jump!) to pull back the curtain a bit on some of the tricks employed by The Times’ in executing its latest front-page assault on responsible natural gas development:
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