Natural gas has been produced in the United States for over 100 years and is produced in 38 states. It is used primarily to heat homes and buildings. It's also used as a fuel to generate electricity and as fuel for vehicles, including automobiles. In the last three years, large deposits of natural gas have been discovered, and new technology has been developed so that natural gas can be extracted economically. The largest of these gas deposits in the United States is located mostly in Pennsylvania. Experts estimate that it holds as much as 500 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. That means enough gas to meet all America's gas needs for more than 20 years.
Some experts say that clean burning natural gas is a major alternative energy source. The burning of natural gas puts out only one-third the emissions that gasoline does. Natural gas is also safer.
The use of natural gas to fuel vehicles could be the means to get rid of our dependence on imported oil. The present cost of natural gas is only a third the cost of gasoline on an energy equivalent basis. However, using natural gas in vehicles requires having a network of natural gas refueling stations all over the United States. At the present time, we have only about 1,500, mostly in California and New York. However, there are already 11 million natural gas vehicles in the rest of the world. The conversion of vehicles that use gasoline into natural gas is commonplace in Argentina and Brazil.
Natural gas could be the best possibility for eliminating US. dependence on foreign oil. The first step would be to create an environment where a natural gas vehicle could be introduced as a commercially attractive alternative to vehicles that run on gasoline. That would encourage the building of a network of enough refueling stations around the country.
Listen to the radio commentary here: