Dan Gibson Natural Gas: the Rodney Dangerfield of fuels

One of my favorite people to speak with around the AGA office is Roger Cooper. I’m always in his ear asking this question or that. My biggest problem is he never has enough time for me (yes, Roger, consider this a public plea.). Roger just has that knack for being able to communicate an idea in a way that is easy to understand and makes a lot of sense. And always in a way that sticks with you. That’s the gold part for a communications person like me.

Hold on, it’ll make sense in a minute.

I came across this article from Mark Gunther of the energy collective titled “Natural Gas: the Rodney Dangerfield of fuels.” After my initial chuckle, I thought “how true” and clicked on the link to read. Sure enough, “’We’re the Rodney Dangerfield of fuels,’ says Roger Cooper, executive vice president of policy and planning at the American Gas Association” is the opening to the second paragraph.

Really, I was just looking for an excuse to post some old Rodney video. Enjoy.

Of course, it’s Roger. I should have known. Roger has been pointing out to me ever since I got here that natural gas doesn’t get a lot of respect when you consider it meets 25 percent of our nation’s energy needs.

I’ll let you read the article yourself. It’s a good read and includes links to a lot of the different sides of the energy conversation. There’s even audio from the actual interview if you want it.

I will draw out some things that you should take note of though.

  • A group called the Potential Gas Committee, which is based at the Colorado School of Mines, has just reported that the U.S. has about a 100 year supply of natural gas, assuming we continue to consume it at today’s rates. See our press conference here.
  • Natural gas is now. Natural gas is here. Natural gas has a smaller carbon footprint than any other fossil fuel—burning natural gas produces 43 percent less CO2 than coal and 28 percent less than fuel oil. And this number could be going down. A company called Atlantic Hydrogen is developing a “patented plasma technology that removes some of the carbon from natural gas pre-combustion.” Look for more on this soon. In addition, nearly all of the natural gas burned in the U.S. is produced in this country or in Canada.
  • Natural gas is very efficient. It takes less natural gas to serve 65 million homes today than it took to serve about half that number in 1970. Homes using natural gas generate on average fewer greenhouse gas emissions that homes using electricity. A typical all-electric home on average produces 10.8 tons of CO2 per year while an all-natural gas home produces 7.2 tons of CO2 per year.


The last thing I’ll point out here is an interesting observation from Mark, the author. “The DOE logo, [above here], includes an oil derrick, wind turbine, hydro and the nuclear symbol, but nothing about natural gas.” I’ll have to check on that one.

What do you think? Where is natural gas in our energy future?

Dan Gibson

About Dan Gibson

Dan Gibson has lived on the web for more than 14 years. His travels have included the IEEE Computer Society, United Rentals, the National Association of Workforce Boards and the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals to name a few. The different perspectives he has gained from these various roles has enabled Dan to have a comprehensive view of the web, and the messages and conversations that happen there.
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