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The Case Against Gas Dependence

Greater reliance on gas-fired power implies serious economic, technological, and national security risks.
Fortnightly Magazine - April 2004
  • adverse consequences for natural gas consumers and are resulting in market disruptions. Gas price volatility will likely increase in the future, thus causing further market disruptions
  • Natural gas shortages and price volatility can have adverse economic and employment effects, and they can increase U.S. dependence on imported oil.
  • High natural gas prices are having a devastating impact on U.S. manufacturing industries, and this should be viewed as the most serious effect of the current (and future) gas crisis.

[This research was supported by a grant from Americans for Balanced Energy Choices. However, final decisions on the assumptions used and the conclusions made were solely those of the authors. The complete report is available from]


  1. For example, over the past decade, sulfur dioxide emissions have decreased 28 percent, nitrogen oxide emissions have decreased 15 percent, and particulate matter emissions have decreased 13 percent.
  2. ., p.2.
  3. ., p. 7.
  4. EIA forecasts that LNG imports will have to increase more than 13-fold by 2025; ., p. 138.
  5. Wayne Andrews, "Are U.S. Gas Markets Headed for a Disaster?" Presented at FERC's , Washington, D.C., Oct. 25, 2002.
  6. Matthew R. Simmons, "The Natural Gas Outlook: Crisis Ahead?" Presented to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Forth Worth, Texas, May 2002.
  7. George Hager, "Crisis Looms as Demand Booms for Natural Gas." , May 31, 2002.
  8. Daniel Yergin, , Cambridge Energy Research Associates, September 2000.
  9. Quoted in David R. Francis, "Natural Gas Prices Double, But Where's the Furor?" , July 16, 2000.
  10. National Energy Technology Laboratory, Natural Gas Transmission, Storage, and Delivery Infrastructure Issues, January 2003.
  11. National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Energy Security, January 2003.
  12. .
  13. National Energy Technology Laboratory, Strategic Center for Natural Gas. , January 2003.
  14. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. , November 1975.
  15. Management Information Services, Inc., , Washington, D.C., June 2000.
  16. Paul Cicio, comments at FERC's In the , pp. 71-72.
  17. Robert S. Linden, "Is It Real or Is It Hype," , August 2003, p. 33.
  18. .
  19. John H. Herbert, "Prices Pointing Skyward," , August 2003, p. 28.
  20. See the succinct discussion in Adam Hersh and Christian Weller, "Does Manufacturing Matter?" , March-April 2003, pp. 59-79.
  21. Letter from Michael E. Baroody, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, to George V. Voinovich, chairman, Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, and Nuclear Safety of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, May 7, 2003.
  22. Letter from Michael E. Baroody, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, to Pete V. Domenici, chairman, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Feb. 24, 2003.

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