Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2015 Natural Gas Flows

I love the EIA because they produce cool things like this (here is link to original):


What this says to me is that shale wells have become the largest single source of natural gas in the country.  It also shows that the uses for gas are pretty well diversified, but the largest source of consumption (electric power) is highly variable depending upon weather and economic conditions.  Still, it's a lot prettier picture than the same for coal:


Now that's a lot of dependence on electric power!  And when natural gas is cheaper, coal is left in the proverbial cold.  I keep hearing about the "war on coal."  I think it's more correctly a "war on pollution" and coal is really getting its ass kicked by market forces, namely the low cost of highly abundant natural gas.  But talking about the impact of market forces does not make political hay.  Not only that, our country had become dependent on a fleet of aging coal generating plants.  Any significant upgrade costs would have been too expensive to maintain these geriatric facilities.

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