Posted October 1, 2013
Jobs, U.S. energy security and regulation are leading the discussion at the North American Gas Forum (NAGF) this week in Washington. The NAGF is a gathering of regional natural gas industry members -- primarily focused on issues that affect the distribution and use of natural gas domestically and globally. Highlights from the two-day meeting:
- Because of vast shale reserves, the U.S. has a chance to be more secure in the future through safe, reliable supplies of North American energy.
ICF International's Kevin Petak predicted the Marcellus Shale Play will become a "juggernaut," producing more than 20 million cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2035. The U.S. Energy Information Administration's Howard Gruenspecht said U.S. natural gas production is expected to outpace domestic consumption and that the U.S. could become a net exporter by 2040.
"The U.S. is more energy secure than it's been in decades," said Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Tony Clark. Production from the Bakken region is offsetting supplies from Venezuela, Clark said. Today the U.S. produces 50 percent of the energy it uses, he said, a number that rises to 70 percent when you count all North American energy.
These figures underscore America's energy opportunity -- through natural gas and oil produced here at home. With the right policies, the ongoing U.S. energy revolution can be sustained and extended into the future, making our country stronger economically and safer in the world.
- America's energy renaissance has the potential to lead an economic renaissance.
Locating and developing the oil and natural gas America needs now and in the future means well-paying jobs that will support individual prosperity. Golden Pass Products' Bill Davis said the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility at Sabine Pass, La., would create 45,000 construction jobs and 3,800 direct jobs.
More is possible if more LNG export facilities get government approval. Chevron's Greg Vesey said the free market should be allowed to decide how many projects go forward. U.S. Rep. Pompeo:
"There should be just as many (LNG export facilities) as customers will demand. ... I really want to make sure we have affordable energy products here in America for the next century."
- The states are well-positioned to effectively regulate energy development and that the markets -- not government -- should determine the future energy mix.
Dan Esty, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment commissioner, said states have been handling energy regulation for years. Meanwhile, Connecticut has pursued a true all-of-the-above approach to energy sources. Natural gas is playing and will play a big role, especially in terms of helping reduce CO2 emissions. Increased use of natural gas is "the largest single thing we can do reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade'" Esty said.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.