I’ve been a fan of natural gas for sometime, but read this article recently on the Amrican thinker and had to share it with the red staters: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/cheap_natural_gas_heralds_an_energy_revolution.html; and it is now obvious to me that the US’s use of natural gas will be the decider in making putting the US atop the energy world for decades.
You are free to read the article, but here are just a few things that popped out to me:
1. It will be cheaper than coal at some point – “Consider the history of natural gas prices just in the last few years. In mid-2008, the spot price (at Henry Hub) reached a peak of $13 per mcf (1,000 cubic feet, with a heat value of 1 million Btu — denoted as 1 MMBTU) — having doubled since mid-2007. Since then, the price has decreased sharply, dipping to $2 in mid-March, and it now stands at $2.30. If prices decline further, natural gas will be cheaper than the average steam coal, which up until now has been the lowest-cost fuel on a heat basis.”
2. It could make coal and nuclear energy 2nd class – “With the pipeline problem solved (at least in the Lower 48), consider the consequences of having huge quantities of cheap gas available. It will make new coal-fired power plants uneconomic, but it will also make new nuclear plants uneconomic.”
3. It is better for the environment – “ On a BTU basis, gas emits about half as much CO2 as coal”
4. It could be more efficient than coal or nuclear – “”Combined-cycle” gas power plants can reach efficiencies of 60% or more, compared to heat efficiencies of nuclear power plants of 35% or coal plants of 40%.”
5. It can be used at a local basis. – “, a large apartment building of 1,000 units could use its own 10-megawatt power plant. But once installed, it becomes possible to consider co-generation, with the waste heat used for space heating, air-conditioning, hot water, laundry, and other process-heat applications — and even desalination. One can imagine energy efficiencies of as much as 80%, more than double what is achieved today. It would also simplify the problem of waste-heat disposal.”
6. It will make the US and not terrorist countries a peaceful alternative fore worldwide energy needs – “For example, Japan now depends on imported LNG (at $15 per MMBTU) for electricity generation; the U.S. is getting ready to export LNG, at much lower cost.”
Add all that up and you want to bang your head on the desk for the US not going all out on natural gas production today.