The biggest innovation in energy so far this century has been the development of shale gas and the associated resource known as tight oil. Shale energy ranks at the top not only because of its abundance in the US, but also because of its profound global impact—as events in 2014 will continue to demonstrate. America’s shale gas and tight oil are already changing global energy markets and reducing both Europe’s competitiveness vis-à-vis the US and China’s overall manufacturing competitiveness. They are also bringing shifts in global politics. Indeed, how shale energy may change America’s role in the Middle East is becoming a hot topic in Washington DC, and in the Middle East itself. This unconventional revolution in oil and gas did not come quickly. Hydraulic fracturing—known as fracking—has been around since 1947, and initial efforts to adapt it to dense shale began in Texas in the early 1980s. But […]