SC 215: AMERICA’S ENERGY FUTURE. Class presentations available.

SC 205                       AMERICA’S ENERGY FUTURE

Is Natural Gas the Solution?

The potential abundant supply of natural gas from underground and marine sources appears ready to become America’s dominant energy resource.  This class covers the technical aspects and the potential benefits and harm of the increasing use of natural gas to supply America’s energy.

The new abundance of natural gas (methane) produced by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of shale is introducing a new era in U.S. energy, in particular displacing coal in the generation of electricity. A shift to natural gas from coal will reduce the emission of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, by one half. Advocates for fracking project a rosy picture for the United States — a future of vigorous economic growth, security of energy supply, and strengthened geopolitical position.  Critics assert that negative effects outweigh the projected benefits. In some instances negative public opinion has delayed or halted applications of fracking.

Methane trapped in ice (clathrates) on the continental shelf may become an alternate or complementary source of natural gas.  The technology for recovery of the enormous volume of natural gas in these formations is at an early stage but if successfully developed could assure an enduring major role for natural gas in our energy future

Thursday, November 13:  Sources of natural gas, technology for recovering and using it, and the potential economic and geopolitical aspects of abundant natural gas.

Thursday, November 20:  Negative impacts of developing natural gas — what are they and how might they be dealt with?


Phil Friedel, Dennis Silverman, John Bush

Thursday, December 4:  Sourcing natural gas from methane clathrates

 Presenter: Professor Peter Taborek, Chair of UCI Physics and Astronomy

All Class Presentations:



Natural Gas OLLI Update 2




Thursdays, November 13, 20 and December 4

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


Woodbridge Onken Classroom

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