The folks at Industrial Info Resources published an interesting note over the holiday, highlighting the important role government played in the development of the shale gas industry dating back to the 1970s. The article points out that the administrations of Presidents Ford, Carter and Regan all oversaw government involvement, subsidies, and the development of many of the key technologies that have created the shale gas revolution the U.S. is now experiencing. Likewise, Industrial Info points out that the government has a role in funding and supporting energy initiatives going forward.

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“As various groups around the country either celebrate victory or lick their post-election wounds, it is important to look beyond the partisan rhetoric and try to develop a sane, long-term energy plan,” says Industrial Info. “Nuclear and renewable energy cannot currently get close providing the base-load capacity needed. At the same time, it is clear that fossil fuels, even natural gas, will eventually run out. It is important to recognize the medium-term need to develop and deploy cleaner fossil fuel generation while continuing to support the development of renewable sources. It is equally important to realize that this development is unlikely without long-term government support and funding that will make these sources economically viable and commercially successful—just as was the case with natural gas.”

For more information, see Industrial Info’s report “Coal's Share of Power Generation Falls, Natural Gas Rises to Take its Place.” (subscription required)