The Department of Energy (DOE) sent out a notice last Tuesday requesting public and stakeholder comments on the outlook for natural gas supply and demand through 2015. The agency is looking for input on what role the federal government should play, what data and analyses are required to complete such an assessment, and what might be among the methods for balancing supply and demand, such as demand side management practices or alternative supply sources for example.
The request for comments on this issue was required by the recently enacted Energy Policy Act of 2005 signed into law in August. It requires the Secretary of Energy to submit to Congress a report on balancing the nation's natural gas supply and demand.
"Most analysts agree that current higher natural gas prices are the result of a shifting supply/demand balance," the DOE said in its request. "After more than a decade of relative stability in U.S. natural gas consumption, production, and prices, many believe that the U.S. market could enter a period where future demand growth will outpace domestic supply, and the United States will be ever more challenged to balance natural gas supply and demand."
The DOE said achieve balanced supply and demand will "provide a host of benefits to the nation:"
Comments should be submitted by Dec. 29. For details go to http://fossil.energy.gov/news/techlines/2005/tl_natgas_comments.html.
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