After many years as a sideline in the US energy business, natural gas has become the central fuel driving new generation, with opportunities to remake the American energy economy both regionally and globally.
It is hard to remember when natural gas was flared as a waste product in the search for oil; many of those same oil giants are quickly becoming gas giants instead as the scale of the available shale gas resource becomes apparent. Increased use of natural gas has been hailed as the next step in responding to global warming threats, and as a way to reduce US dependence on energy imports.
With such rosy prospects, the fuel’s future was the source of active discussion at the US Association for Energy Economics summit in Washington, DC this month and Breaking Energy spoke with Sara Banaszak, the Chief Economist for America’s Natural Gas Alliance.
For full coverage of the conference on Breaking Energy, see here.
Banaszak mentioned the full range of widely-quoted statistics about the natural gas industry, including the record production levels in 2010 and the month-on-month records set so far in 2011. But she also directly addressed some of the criticism that has been leveled at natural gas firms as they move into areas unaccustomed to widespread exploration and production activity. She cites firms that responded to reasonable concerns from local communities with responses like reduced truck traffic and water recycling.
For more of Breaking Energy’s comprehensive gas industry coverage, see here.