There’s 35% more natural gas in the United States than previously believed according to a new report from the Colorado School of Mines.
The New York Times, which got early access to the report, says that total estimated natural gas reserves rose from 2,074 trillion cubic feet in 2008 from 1,532 trillion cubic feet in 2006 when the last report was conducted.
It’s more evidence that natural gas should play a bigger role in the nation’s energy supply. As it stands now, coal provides around 50% and natural gas around 22%. With an expanding supply of natural gas, and a falling price, the relatively cleaner option of gas fired power should grow. Coal fired electricity will become costly if cap and trade becomes law.
While natural gas is cleaner than coal, it’s not an entirely clean option. To tap the gas reserves held in the shale requires heavy water use, which is of concern. Also, the potential for pollution of the drinking water supply is worrisome.
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