This is rather disturbing:
The economy has been cool, and so has the spring in much of the country. Nonetheless, the United States is facing its most severe shortage of natural gas in a quarter-century.
More good news. Yippee!
With natural gas promoted as a cleaner-burning fuel than oil or coal, nearly all the electric plants built since 1998 are designed to be fired mainly by gas. So demand is up. And while drilling has increased about 25 percent in the last year, much of it has been confined to old, overworked basins that are not as productive as they once were. Supplies, therefore, have not kept up.
So expand the drilling, guys.
The United States is a large producer of natural gas, second to Russia, and 85 percent of the gas used here comes from domestic wells. But many parts of the country remain off-limits for drilling for environmental reasons.
Gaining access to these areas is a top priority of the energy industry, foreshadowing a more intense struggle between conservationists and natural gas companies. “The sorry thing is that there is gas to be found in this country but we can’t get to it,” said Mr. Allison of Anadarko, the nation’s most active natural gas driller.
Oh yeah- we aren’t allowed to drill anywhere at home. That might ruin views for some mountain bikers or backpackers. Forgot about that.
In the meantime, about the only beneficiaries of the natural gas shortage are companies that can profit from the high prices for the fuel by producing or transporting it in North America. These include huge energy companies like BP, which are considerable gas producers, and a coterie of smaller companies that made a prescient bet on strong demand for natural gas.
Environmentalists- Big Oil’s best friend. Don’t you love the irony? You do have to wonder how they are going to blame this one on Bush, though.
I hate these environmentalist wackos… the world can’t run on hemp, moonbeams, and rainbows!