With renewables on an upswing, the natural gas boom appears to be going bust

A gas flare
A gas flare is seen at an oil well site in 2013 outside Williston, N.D. Gas flares are created when excess flammable gases are released by pressure release valves during the drilling for oil and natural gas.
Andrew Burton | Getty Images 2013

In 2016, Shell spent $54 billion on a natural gas company. Five years later, it has reduced its outlook for natural gas demand by half, and said it would no longer tie executive bonuses to natural gas production.

It’s the latest evidence that the natural gas boom appears to be going bust, as the cost of renewable energy plummets and uptake increases.

What was once considered a bridge fuel to help utilities cut back on coal is getting less and less attractive — both in terms of economics and emissions. Natural gas drilling emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Justin Mikulka, an independent journalist who’s been following the story, joined Climate Cast this week.

Click play on the audio player above or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast to hear the full conversation.

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