How Big is the Natural Gas Base in the U.S.?

A new report from the American Petroleum Institute entitled The State of American Energy has some astonishing numbers to share regarding the past, current, and future impact of the oil and gas industry on Americans.

The report goes through how much money flows into the economy from oil and gas related spending, including taxes, rent, royalty, and much more.  The numbers are staggering, really.  More after the jump...

A very interesting segment that stood out to me was the section which referenced an MIT study on the future of U.S. natural gas.  First, the study predicted that clean-burning natural gas will go from 20 percent to 40 percent of the energy market by 2040, which obviously represents remarkable growth in market share.  But even more mind-blowing is the prediction from that same MIT study that the U.S. natural gas resource base exceeds 2,000 trillion cubic feet!  How much is that?  Enough to meet the entire current demand of the United States for 100 years.  Developing this natural gas base, the report continues, would generate billions of dollars in government revenue and reduce greenhouse emissions because of how much cleaner natural gas is than coal.

While the report is long and a bit overwhelming at times because of all the statistics and figures it throws out, it is very interesting reading.  Of course, coming from the API, it isn't surprising that it is overwhelmingly positive in its viewpoint of the oil and gas industry and the need to allow further development. Here is the purpose of the report, as stated on page three by the president and CEO of API, Jack Gerard:

The State of American Energy represents the oil and natural gas industry’s
perspectives on the vital issues surrounding energy and environmental policy
at a critical time to our nation’s economy.
Through this report, we examine ways in which the oil and natural gas industry
is contributing to U.S. economic growth, job creation and energy security—and
areas where we will contribute further. We also provide recommendations on how
industry and policymakers can work together to address our energy and economic
challenges through a combination of industry commitments and investments, as
well as sound legislative and regulatory policies.
API and our member companies remain committed to working with all stakeholders
in pursuing and implementing a thoughtful energy agenda. We look forward to a
productive and successful year.

What do you think of the report?  Is it perhaps trying to hard to cast a rosy glow over the oil and gas industry, or are the assessments and predictions it contains realistic?  Share your thoughts here or on the message board!

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