This discussion primarily focused on the impact and opportunities that the recent gas boom in the U.S. hold for German businesses, the U.S. economy and the U.S.-German business relations in particular.Co-Sponsors: German-American Chambers of Commerce (GACC) Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany New York While Germany's transition to a renewable energy economy is in full swing, recent developments suggest this model won’t be adopted entirely in the U.S. Current estimates of the natural gas resources that are available through the process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) present the opportunity for the country to produce cheap fossil fuel energy locally on a scale that may replace the need for imported energy. While the rise in natural gas use directly offsets the production of energy from coal, which has a significantly higher greenhouse gas output per kilowatt-hour, the benefits have to be weighed against the investment dollars that natural gas threatens to siphon away from renewable energy development. Naturally, the direct environmental dangers such as water contamination from the extraction process also limit enthusiasm about high volume production. On the other hand, the resource would also eventual replace dirty heating oil and diesel in many applications. Despite the environmental concerns, the growth outlook for the industry and its impact on the economy at large is very positive. For this reason, a panel of industry experts from Germany and the U.S. took a closer look into the future of shale gas on both sides of the Atlantic. While taking the environmental concerns of fracking procedures into account, the discussion primarily focused on the impact and opportunities that the recent gas boom in the U.S. hold for German businesses, the U.S. economy and the U.S.-German business relations in particular.
Dr. Berend Diekmann Head of Division for External Economic Policy, Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology
Bert Bankovic Strategic Initiatives Manager, LANXESS Corporation
David Yoxtheimer Hydrogeologist, Penn State University's Earth and Environmental Systems Institute
Dr. David Knapp (Moderator) Chief Energy Economist, Energy-Intelligence
Deputy Consul General of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Oliver Schnakenberg
Vice President of German American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. , Dr. Michael Blank
The event was co-sponsored with the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany AND the German American Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
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