Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Great Background Pieces

The history of the U.S. natural gas industry is very unusual.  What is perhaps most interesting is how badly it has been treated.  It was burned off as an unwelcome byproduct of oil production, its price was regulated (and suppressed) when it crossed state lines and it was at one time illegal to burn it to power electrical plants.

There was a good background article in the Ft. Worth Business Press this week (it's a guest piece, not a news item) that gives a short history of the obstacles natural gas has faced over the past fifty or so years.  It's a pretty quick read and is fact filled.

If you are into a longer, more first-hand explanation, check out Robert Hefner's book The Grand Energy Transition: The Rise of Energy Gases, Sustainable Life and Growth, and the Next Great Economic Expansion, which is being re-released today.  This version is being released by Wiley, a major business publisher.  Previously it was self-released and a little homegrown.  Here is a link to a book review that can give you more information - in fact it's the same article that caused me to buy and read the book in the first place.

I read The GET over the summer in its previous incarnation and found it to be very interesting.  Most fascinating was the explanation of the unfortunate obstacles that natural gas has faced and Mr. Hefner's role in overcoming these hurdles.  If you're interested in the future (and past) of natural gas, it's a great read.

No comments: