Saturday, May 23, 2009

Good Commentary on Natural Gas Future

In a recent commentary, Michael Newport, CEO of Mainland Resources, made an articulate argument for the adoption of a natural gas standard for vehicles in the United States. While, as a gas producer, he has a bias, his argument is simple and I believe correct.

Natural gas is a cleaner, domestic product than oil and would provide independence from not so benign foreign powers. I was reading an interesting article in the March issue of Harper's Magazine about international oil "fixers" (read it if you have time - fascinating, but lengthy). In talking to the journalist, the fixer subject says "Oil is not a commodity. It is a political weapon." So true. Why involve ourselves in a situation we cannot possibly win when we have the resources at home to achieve at least some measure of independence?

He also touches on an argument that does not get made very often: the advances in horizontal drilling and hydrofracing come from the "ingenuity and technical prowess" of American workers. We shine such a bright light on technology that is developed in Silicon Valley, but what about the technology associated with exploration and drilling? Sure, Twitter and Facebook are interesting (for now), but they won't fuel your car or heat your home.

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