Alternative Energy Sources >> Natural Gas Production in the United States

Natural Gas Production in the United States


We all know that natural gas is a cost effective way to get energy. We also know that here in the United States a lot of the natural gas that we use comes from other countries. What we may not know is why this is the case … isn’t there plenty of natural gas in the United States? Why aren’t we using our home-grown natural resources? The following article will answer some common questions about natural gas production in the United States.  


Is there natural gas in the U. S.?

It might surprise you to learn that there is quite a bit of natural gas right here in our own country. According to EIA.gov most of the natural gas consumed by Americans comes from America or the Gulf of Mexico while some is shipped in through pipelines from Canada. We do not just drill for natural gas in the U.S. (also known as “fracking”); we also use a machine known as a “digester” that turns organic material such as animal waste and/or plants into this valuable resource. This type of production is valued because it is renewable (it beats waiting millions of years for gas to form naturally). According to the EIA.gov site, the natural gas projections in the U.S. are at 2,203 Tcf. (these estimates refer to recoverable natural gas). Using that data combined with current and future projected natural gas usage for this country, that supply should last only 92 years which is one reason why the U.S. currently imports natural gas.

Why do we need other countries?

Statistically we only import around 15% of the total amount of natural gas consumed in the U.S.. Of that 15%, 95% comes from Canada while a tiny amount comes from Mexico. This information is available at NaturalGas.org. The reason that the U.S. imports some natural gas is plain old economics … some of the gas reserves here in the U.S. are sold and shipped to other countries and those countries then export it back to us … allowing everyone involved to make some money.

Is there an alternative plan?

There has been a lot of talk lately about something known as the “Pickens Plan.” This is a plan formulated by T. Boone Pickens and it has been endorsed by the US President. This plan has several steps, which include:

Using the abundant supplies of natural gas in America as a replacement for oil that is imported for use as fuel for transportation;

• Building an electrical transmission grid that will be the backbone of the U. S. economy for the 21st century;

• Developing existing renewable sources of energy such as solar power and wind power; and

• Providing incentives to people who own property if they increase the energy efficiency in their buildings by upgrading their insulation value.

We, as Americans, consume more energy than any other country in the world. We pay ungodly amounts of money to other countries for oil and it’s ironic that we do so because there are oceans of natural gas right beneath our feet. With the economy in the state that it is in and non-renewable sources of oil running low it’s crucial for America to focus on natural gas, utilizing the energy source available here at home.



 


 



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