Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Natural Gas Industry and Lobbying

There was a good article in the Denver Post the other day about the natural gas industry's belated lobbying effort regarding the energy and climate change legislation. I've previously noted the gas industry's effort to form a new lobbying group, America's Natural Gas Alliance. Natural gas was notable by its absence in the wrangling over the bill in the House of Representatives. A newly collected fund of $80 million for lobbying will make sure natural gas's voice is heard during the Senate debate. (I've seen full page ANGA ads in my local newspaper, so someone is cashing those checks!)

Perhaps the most interesting comment in the article came from Joe Stanislaw of Deloitte LLP, who said, "Part of the problem is the natural-gas industry really isn't an industry." Very true. Natural gas has always been lumped in with its big nasty brother oil, mostly because historically they were found together. With the advent of "unconventional gas," mostly through shale formations, natural gas has the opportunity to stand on its own.

"Natural gas industry" doesn't quite roll off the tongue as easily as "oil and gas industry" but we should all get used to saying it. Next step is finding a word to replace "oilfield" and "oilpatch." "Gasfield" and "gaspatch" just don't sound right.

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