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Steve Horn, the journalist who covers fracking, and financial analyst Deborah Rogers report on the shale gas bubble, which may soon burst or deflate; UC Davis Professor Noha Radwan, an Egyptian who voted for President Morsi in the June election, offers her views on the crisis in Egypt. Horn posts new stories frequently at DeSmogBlog; Rogers manages a blog here. We open with Rogers’ analysis of industry financial reports from natural gas producers who use hydraulic fracturing, which show that the industry has wildly exaggerated current production, available gas reserves and the life cycles of fracked wells–producing unachievable expectations of jobs, energy independence, low prices and sustained profits. They’ve created a bubble which is deflating now and could burst.
Rogers also breaks down a study on gas export projections from the Department of Energy, challenging the models (created by pro-industry consultants) used to produce the optimistic numbers. We talk, along with Horn, about the role of T. Boone Pickens as the slippery front man for the gas industry, and his efforts to get taxpayers to put up capital that he can profit from.
Horn reports that some sites in England are being considered for fracking; that a former Exxon-Mobil and Texaco-Chevron exec has been given the second license to extract oil sands in Utah; and that exposure (led by Horn) of “frackademia”–unhealthy alliances between extractors and universities–has caused SUNY Buffalo to end its fracking program, and UT Austin took action to end its frack friendly efforts. But University of Michagan Ann Arbor has just launched a new program in this area.
50 minutes into this podcast, we shift our focus to the crisis in Egypt. We talk with Noha Radwan, associate professor of Arabic and comparative lit at UC Berkeley. She was born in Egypt, and was in Tahrir square in early 2011. She supported Mohammed Morsi in the election runoff in June, and is very disappointed with his recent decree, which assigned him dictatorial powers. Radwan says that this breach of the trust of the people may be beyond repair, and she is quite dissatisfied with the proposed Constitution set for a public vote on December 15.
Radwan has a family member who is active in the Muslim Brotherhood; she says she does not know exactly what its leadership is thinking, but believes that the Brotherhood’s wealthy leaders are trying to impose “stability” through authoritarian rule, because it’s good for their business interests.