Energy. Environment. Economy.

Much of nation’s natural gas now comes from shale

Much of the natural gas in the United States now comes from shale gas wells, according to information released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Seven years ago, shale made up just 8 percent of the overall gas production for the United States, but last year it accounted for 40 percent of production– it’s now the largest single source of gas in the country.

The emergence of fracking has also dramatically changed where the gas is coming from. In 2013, 79 percent of shale gas production came from Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

The record-breaking production in the Marcellus Shale made Pennsylvania the second-largest gas producing state last year.

Over the same time period, gas production from nonshale wells declined by 25 percent.


Courtesy EIA

If Pennsylvania’s 2014 production continues at the same pace, the state is track to produce 4 trillion cubic feet this year– or about 16 percent of what the entire United States consumes annually.

This story has been updated to reflect the following correction: an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that shale gas accounts for 79 percent of U.S. production. It is 40 percent.


  • paulroden

    This means that more people are exposed to radioactive radon in the fracked gas than ever before. Radon is an inert gas, that is colorless, odorless and can not be filtered from the methane gas. It has a half-life of 3.8 days. Which means it would have to be stored for 10 half lives, in order for it to decay into lead, in order for it to be safe enough to have it to be used for cooking, heating and hot water. I doubt the gas industry is storing this gas for thirty one days before pumping it to market. It would be too costly for them and cut into their almighty profits. You can’t sell or buy a home in most places in the US without testing and mitigating for radon. The gas industry will just dismiss any health concern and have the public forget about it. Well the uranium miners out west, the homeowners who built their homes on or with the uranium mining mill tailings developed high rates of lung cancer from breathing in the radon from the uranium. The shale gas extraction is from deep levels of the strata of the earth, which contain high levels of uranium and radium, which all decay into radon. The drill cuttings from fracking can’t be disposed of in municipal landfills because they are too radioactive. Here is yet another reason why fracking needs to be outlawed. Fracking is too dangerous too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. New York State had legislation in both houses of the state legislature calling for the monitoring and conducting a public health study on the radon in the fracked gas. With the anti-science Republicans taking over the New York State Senate in the last election, I wouldn’t be surprised that this legislation will be killed in the committee. The public now all over the US are now part of a giant public health experiment and they don’t even know it.

    • IguanaMikeA

      If anti-progress & anti-energy independence Democrats had their way, which fortunately for the rest of us they shall not, the clean energy which is natural gas would go untapped & unused forever, (mis)leading this otherwise energy-innovative nation backwards by a factor of 10. There is a great deal of the above diatribe which is contextually misrepresentative and in some instances false altogether. Furthermore, “profit” is not a dirty word; thank GOD for them, to wit, as they provide an incentive for new operatives to enter this realm with even better ways & means of efficiently and safely and affordably producing that which this nation does need so as to meet its energy requisites and to thrive. This industry per se is in great part credited by most neutral experts in industry and gov’t alike with the current economic uplift which the USA is experiencing and will continue to enjoy for a very long time ahead.

      • JimBarth

        If the anti-science, anti-democracy, pro-fracking/pro pollution republicans have their way, which they now have in the Federal legislature, and PA legislature, the profits will continue to be reaped, without tax, by the extraction industry, while the costs to society and the environment will continue to be passed on to the taxpayers for generations. Republicans fully support this privatization of profit, and socialization of cost.
        They also allow creationist yahoo climate change deniers like Jim Inhofe to rise to control the Senate Science Committee (the earth is only 6,000 years old mind you, and fracking never did anyone any harm), to make sure no bill based in science ever escapes that Committee.
        They will castrate the EPA (which already has a very high voice), and forbid the EPA from consulting with real scientists, while giving all lobbyists industrial a red carpet entree through the doors.
        They will continue to gerrymander districts so that majority black districts like Ferguson, MO will continue to have all white police forces, city councils and the like, and will remain republican controlled until the polar ice melts.
        They will continue to pass picture voter i.d. laws and laws making it harder for college students, the elderly, and the disabled, to vote, so that the U.S. will continue to have a shameful voter turnout below 40%.
        I left out a lot, but, you get the picture.

        • pghsheep

          I am an anti-unconventional deep well fracking Rebublican.

      • Hortense

        Mr. IguanaMikeA makes the claim:

        “There is a great deal of the above diatribe which is contextually misrepresentative and in some instances false altogether.”

        Note that his claim is totally unsupported by the citation of any sort of facts which are contradictory to paulroden’s “diatribe”.

        In fact, Mr. IguanaMikeA, you should research the definition of ‘diatribe’. When (and if) you do, you will find that your response much better fits the definition.

        As to “profit” not being a “dirty word”, I agree.

        I will borrow a term that Rush Limbaugh likes to use, (though sarcastically, as a means to distract his audience from the truth):

        ‘obscene profits’

        The word ‘obscene’ can be defined as “offensive to moral principles; repugnant”. – Wikipedia

        In other words, ‘dirty’.

    • pghsheep

      Every time Jordan Yeager brought up the radioactivity at the Middlesex Hearing the Attorney for the Gas co. objected.

  • pghsheep

    “Drastic problems require drastic and immediate solutions,” said Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering. “Our new roadmap is designed to provide each state a first step toward a renewable future.”

    • paulroden

      Use that link or go to for the plan for all 50 states for converting to renewable energy. Contrary to the lies of the dirty fossil fuel industry, we have the technology and the resources to provide for our energy needs now. All we are lacking is the political will because our elected political leaders have been bought off by the energy industry. They have also brainwashed the public to believe that renewable energy technology is not ready yet and that we need this fracked gas as a “transition fuel” , that it is safe, and necessary for our “energy independence.” Then why are they trying to export it to China and Europe, if we need this gas for our “energy independence?” If it is so safe, why are the gas drillers exempt from obeying the provisions of the Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, Clean Air, Resource Recovery and Conservation Acts? If these fracking chemicals are so safe, why are they keeping the names of the chemicals from the public, calling them proprietary? If they have nothing to hide, why are they even baring physicians and hospitals from telling other health care providers what chemicals caused their patients to get sick when making a referral? I don’t think most American homes have chemicals like benzene, toluene, xylene and ethyl ether under their kitchen sinks, garages or basement workshops. Fracking is to dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. Go to for the 50 state solution plan for renewable energy.

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