Shale gas accounts for about 10% of the US natural gaz production, and it has some major disadvantages
Environmental Impact: The main problem is water sourcing, stroage, transport, treatment and disposal. European environmental laws are more stringent, which explains that the US has taken a lead in the development of shale gas. Both Poland and Germany have large reserves of shale gas as well.
Economic Viability: The production cost for non-conventional gas is much higher than for conventional gas. The economic viability depends on price.
I would not call it a Ponzi Scheme, but there is certainly a risk that a large number of wells will not be profitable.
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Gasland, The Movie
Here is where you can watch the notorious documentary online and learn about a few tiny problems with hydro fracking, such as irreversible contamination of underground water supplies, tap water that bursts into flames, towns rendered uninhabitable, etc.
No big deal, profits must be privatized and "externalities" socialized or placed on the backs of those who cannot defend themselves. It's THE AMERICAN WAY®. Too bad that the production rate from these wells decreases at such a rapid rate that even the profits may be an illusion. But the only externalities that count are the management of the drillers' stock prices and implicit government subsidies from the suspension of the Clean Water Act, so everything else is irrelevant.
Gas development in the Catskill Watershed even threatens the watershed of New York City, but that must not allow it to be impeded. In the worst case Goldman Sachs can move to a lower cost location. New York City already has IndianPointuShima reactor and spent fuel meltdown scenarios hanging over it like a rusty Sword of Damocles, so gotta get out of there eventually anyway.
I used to think that there were things called the Laws of Physics, but in our Brave New World, the only things that are real are money, and the Theories of Ivy League/University of Chicago Economists. I wonder why they don't read Huxley and Orwell in American high schools anymore....