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U.S. Gas Resources: Julian Simon Lives! (Malthus, Hotelling, Hubbert are wrong again)

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#m_lynch">Michael Lynch</a> -- June 22, 2009

The Potential Gas Committee has issued its new biennial gas resource estimate for the United States and once again raised its estimate, this time by 15%, or from 1,321 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) to 1,525 Tcf. This equates to a  70-year domestic cushion, given annual U.S. consumption of 20 Tcf. The evaluation of available shale gas, production of which is now soaring, played a major role in this re-evaluation and potently demonstrates how new technology (aka human ingenuity, what the late Julian Simon called the ultimate resource) creates resources, refuting the static fixity/depletion view of the mineral-resource world.

Few realize that the PGC has been raising the estimates of conventional resources throughout history, even as the United States has consumed large amounts of natural gas. Thus gas has been and is an expanding resource, not a depleting one.…