Thursday, September 24, 2009

NPR on Gas: Why the Gas Lobby Has to Fight an Uphill Battle

Today concluded the three part NPR Morning Edition series on the natural gas industry. Today’s story featured the industry’s anemic previous attempts at lobbying. The famous line about lobbying is, “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” Natural gas was served as a five course meal.

Natural gas has a huge uphill battle, especially against the coal lobby. Coal is deeply entrenched in Congress. Coal has friends. There is a Coal Caucus (there isn’t one for natural gas, as you may suspect). In the first six months of 2009, the recently formed natural gas industry group AGNA spent $310,000 on lobbying, while the coal industry spent $78 million. Guess who got heard. Guess who was left out? Another issue is that there are hundreds of independent gas companies that do most of the gas drilling, while there are only a handful of big coal producers; therefore the coal industry is far more organized.

It is an interesting piece and will send a few shivers down the spines of gas fans. Check it out:

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