Natural gas prices plunged on Thursday to levels last reached in 2002 after an Energy Department report showed that the amount of gas in storage had hit a record high for this time of year.
The sharp price decline of natural gas, to below $3 per thousand cubic feet from a peak of over $13 last summer, has been caused by a drop in demand from factories and homes because of the recession, coupled with a big expansion of domestic production over the last few years….
Gas executives saw a silver lining, arguing that the low prices would help them make a case in the Senate when it takes up energy and climate change legislation later this year. The gas companies want federal incentives to sway utilities to switch to gas from coal, and they want more government entities and businesses to convert their diesel bus and truck fleets to compressed natural gas….
Mr. McClendon said he hoped that low gas prices could stimulate more replacement of coal with gas by utilities, something that is beginning to happen in some places, and he was also hopeful a cold winter would spur demand.
“It doesn’t set the stage for $10 gas, but it does set the stage for $6 to $8 gas, which is in our view a fair price for consumers and producers,” Mr. McClendon added.
And that is enough to be a climate-mitigation game changer and back out over half of existing coal plants over the next two decades at low cost — if we can pass the climate and clean energy bill.
By Climate Guest Blogger on Aug 21, 2009 at 7:44 am
Wonk Room details the unpatriotic Astroturf rallies.
At a “grassroots” rally organized by the American Petroleum Institute in Houston on Tuesday, activists bearing American flags were turned away. Oil company employees were bused in to the “Energy Citizens” gathering to hear billionaire Drayton McLane Jr. attack President Barack Obama’s clean energy agenda as an economy-destroying energy tax. However, grassroots tea-party activists told Public Citizen Texas that they and their American flags were refused entry to the company picnic:
ACTIVIST: They said, “We won’t let you have an American flag either.” They said they won’t let you have this, and then the guy touched this, the American flag.
ANOTHER ACTIVIST: I got an email from Freedomworks saying, “Come, it’s free, free food,” doodah doodah. And then I get here and they say, “Well, it’s against fire code to let people in the door.” And then, they let all these people in. Granted, one of the people was Drayton McLane. He’s got more money than God, so, I guess”¦
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