The United States does not have a decades-long supply of inexpensive, locally sourced natural gas, according to a new report commissioned by the Post Carbon Institute, a nonprofit think tank that examines issues related to the economy, energy and the environment.
The report, titled "Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century?," is a challenge to the commonly cited projection that domestic natural gas can meet U.S. demand for more than 100 years. It comes on the heels of the U.S. Energy Information Agency's 2011 Energy Outlook released last month that projected an almost fourfold increase in domestic shale gas production by 2035 and growing use of natural gas to generate electricity.
"The question is what would it take in order to do that?" said study author David Hughes, a geoscientist who serves on the board of the Assn. for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas-Canada and is a fellow at the Post Carbon Institute in Santa Rosa, Calif.