What is natural gas and what does it mean for the U.S.? Natural gas is vital to the U.S. economy. The U.S. has an abundance of natural gas and could see energy independence in 15 years. In order to reach that goal, the U.S. needs a national commitment.
What is natural gas?
Natural gas is colorless, shapeless, and odorless in its pure form. When burned, natural gas gives off a great deal of energy and few emissions. Natural gas has many uses, residential, commercial, and industrial and is located deep underneath the earth. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that takes place in order to release natural gas from Shale rock formations. Fracturing the rock formations creates a passageway for the natural gas to enter. The passageway allows drillers to move the gas into large tanks, which we turn around and use in our homes and office places.
What does it mean for the U.S.?
According Forbes, a survey of more than 100 energy executives, 70% of energy executives believe that, given a true national commitment, the U.S. could achieve a energy independence within 15 years. However, of the 70% only 21% believe the energy goal is feasible, given political consensus and regulations.
The Obama Administration tightened to the oil and gas industry regulations for hydraulic fracturing, but supports advancement in drilling for natural gas. The Administration is forcing drillers to capture air pollutants released in new wells. Major fracking challenges include environmental concern and a lack of investment due to low commodity prices – In order to reach energy independence, fracking challenges need to be addressed.