Natural gas is clean and price-competitive with other fuels, and it’s abundance in the United States will alter geopolitics and can erode the influence of oil cartels. Additionally gas-fired power generation and gas-powered vehicles can complement renewable energy and clear the air. That’s the story the industry needs to tell to lawmakers and consumers, according to Brad Boister, Anadarko Energy Services Corp. vice president of gas marketing.

Low gas prices might be making producers frown now, but they will stimulate market growth for gas in the future, Boister told attendees at GasMart 2010 in Chicago Tuesday. “As the spread grows between natural gas and crude oil, so does the opportunity for natural gas,” he said. “The industry has shown that the marginal cost of gas has come down with the discovery of these [gas] shale plays.”

Thirty-two U.S. states produce natural gas; 85% of the country’s supply comes from within its boarders, and 97% of U.S. supply is sourced from the North American continent, Boister pointed out.

He called for the United States to diversify its portfolio of power generating assets, of which 48.5% are coal-fired. Natural gas comes in second in share at 21.6%, with nuclear third at 19.4%, according to Energy Information Administration data cited by Boister.

Issues facing the industry, which it must address with the public and lawmakers, include the safety of well stimulation using hydraulic fracturing, taxes, air emissions, over-the-counter derivatives trading reform, government incentives for competing fuels and state renewable portfolio standards, as well as issues surrounding endangered and protected species, Boister said.

One way the industry is engaging in these issues and others is through America’s Natural Gas Alliance, another is through the National Petroleum Council, Boister said.

“We as an industry need to go forth by getting involved…with educational institutions, with our regulators to create an energy and environmental mindset and promote the benefits of natural gas,” he said.

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