It is intriguing to notice that world crude oil prices are rising, but natural gas prices have experienced a long, steady decline for this clean-burning, abundant, domestically produced fuel. With a system of investment tax credits, our nation can re-equip oil-fired power plants to use natural gas, to end some 300,000 barrels per day in oil imports. We can also re-equip older coal-fired power plants to use natural gas to produce cleaner electricity.
With investment tax credits, we can also bring Shell’s new “Gas to Liquids” technology to the United States, which transforms natural gas into cleaner burning liquid fuels like diesel and kerosene, thus further reducing our oil imports. We should also accelerate the process of homeowners converting from home heating oil to natural gas, as well as cities using more buses powered by compressed natural gas. We can also make the pro-active national decision to build the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline, to bring natural gas from Prudhoe Bay to the lower 48 states.
With natural gas, we can decrease particulates and carbon and sulfur emissions, while increasing national wealth and stability. With this array of financial and environmental benefits, would we rather pay escalating prices for imported oil or declining prices for clean-burning, domestically produced natural gas?
Ron Rasmussen Jr.