Natural gas has been known about for quite a while now. But only recently has new drilling and extraction technology made natural gas a commercially viable fuel source for the United States.
States like Texas, Louisiana and a few Northeastern states are the headquarters for the production of natural gas from shale rock. Shale natural gas was once discounted as a viable fuel source because of the difficulty of tapping the shale. The new technologies used to extract the gas from shale are making it possible for natural gas to become an often used fuel alternative.
The president of Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, Michael Ming declares that with this new knowledge and drilling methods the United States has “basically won the lottery”. While there are some concerns over water pollution and other environmental impacts, the amount of natural gas that is suddenly viable is getting a great deal of attention.
There are several uses for natural gas including powering automobiles, heating, cooking and generating electricity. Over the next several years Americans will hopefully see a great increase in the use of natural gas for electric plants. Natural gas emits only half the amount of carbon dioxide as coal fired power plants.
In Colorado there is a bill in the works that is pioneered by the Governor of Colorado, natural gas producers and environmental leaders to require the state’s largest utility company Xcel Energy Inc. to replace acing coal fired power plant units with natural gas plants or institute emissions restricting technology by the year 2018. At the same time the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity is launching an advertising program warning consumers that gas is more expensive than coal. This battle could really heat up in Colorado and across the country.
The price of natural gas has dropped a great deal recently because of the new shale gas that has been located and is being mined in the United States. The increase in natural gas usage will continue to climb steadily as more people realize that natural gas is a viable and inexpensive alternative and that it is available.
There are plans to build a mammoth gas pipeline in order to transport natural gas through Canada from the Alaskan North Slope into the U.S. for use. The United States isn’t the only country aware of the benefits of natural gas. Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe all are getting involved in the mining and production of natural gas.