Do U.S. benefits from fracking shale oil and gas outweigh the environmental costs? That was the topic of the annual lunchtime debate at PEEC's Silicon Valley Energy Summit. The environmental benefits of fracking outweigh the environmental costs, without even considering the economic and national security benefits, the "yes" side argued. Natural gas as a blue bridge to a green energy future is wishful thinking, said the "no" side, because all the gas-fired power plants being built will run for at least 50 years. In the end, 15% of the audience changed their minds from "no" at the beginning of the debate to "yes" after it. The same number of people switched the other way. "By the narrowest of margins," said moderator Jeff Byron, "we have a tie."
Forbes' covered the debate: