Natural Gas Will Play Much Larger Energy Role

In this WSJ Opinion, MIT professor and former under secretary of Energy John Deutch explains how the BP gusher and discovery of vast supplies of unconventional natural gas will combine to increase natural gas energy usage by replacing coal, then oil.
July 18, 2010, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"If the past is any guide, accidents in the energy sector profoundly affect this country's energy outlook." John Deutch points to Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and oil shocks in spurring development of non-OPEC oil sources.

Add to that the recent discovery of "vast natural gas resources in unconventional reservoirs like coal seams, tight sand and shales in the United States and elsewhere" and the lower price that follows means natural gas will initially begin replacing coal in electricity generation, and in time, oil in transportation. But the U.S is lagging.

"As of 2009, Pakistan led the world with 2.4 million vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas and over 3,000 fueling stations. By comparison, the U.S. had about 100,000 such vehicles and 1,300 stations, consuming 0.1% of the 12 million barrels of oil per day devoted to transportation."

Thanks to Mark Boshnack

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Published on Saturday, July 17, 2010 in Wall Street Journal: Opinion Journal
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