Public Release: 

EARTH: The bright future for natural gas in the United States

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," has changed the energy landscape. We can now affordably produce natural gas from previously inaccessible rock formations, which has led to increasing natural gas consumption. Thanks to its low prices and abundant domestic supply, natural gas may have a chance to overtake coal as the primary energy source for electricity in the United States.

Natural gas has been a part of our energy economy for more than a century; however, it wasn't until recently that it started to play a key role. While it has always been useful for cooking and heating, over the past few decades natural gas has started to become a main source for power generation and transportation. Although the price of natural gas today is quite low in comparison to other fuel sources, it hasn't always been low and there's no guarantee it will stay low. How will natural gas affect our domestic energy mix in the future? Read the story online and find out:


Read this story and more in the December issue of EARTH Magazine available online now! Reminisce about the geoscience highlights of 2012; learn why humans and Neanderthals may not be as close as previously thought; and rethink how Mercury was formed, all in this month's issue of EARTH!

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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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