Oil Over Again
Analysts Warn That Natural Gas Could Pose Same Problems as Oil
As the inevitable oil crisis draws closer, with demand continuing to rise and production capacity rapidly approaching its peak, natural gas is set to be the next big thing in the U.S. energy sector. But some analysts warn that natural gas will push the country toward many of the same problems as oil. Currently, Canada is the major supplier of natural gas to the U.S., but as demand for the fuel rises in both the U.S. and Canada, the U.S. will become a significant importer of natural gas from countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and the former Soviet bloc — many of them politically unstable with repressive regimes. This could put the U.S. in a position of perilous dependence and unwillingness to criticize human-rights abuses. Most future imports will come in the form of liquefied natural gas, and the extraordinarily expensive process of building LNG infrastructure is lagging behind demand, exacerbating dependence on a small number of suppliers and increasing vulnerability to disruptions — political, environmental, or otherwise.