Our energy woes may soon be behind us. The newest issue of Foreign Affairs magazine includes an upbeat report on the large amounts of natural gas that are now economically feasible as alternative energy sources. "This development is an unmitigated boon for consumers interested in affordable energy, environmentalists looking for energy sources that emit less carbon dioxide than either oil or coal, and governments that hope to reduce the political and market power of today's major oil- and gas-producing countries," writes John Deutch. Deutch predicts that natural gas will eventually take the place of oil and its increased availability may result in regional gas markets merging "into a more integrated and open international gas market with a single price."
The large number of potential sources of usable natural gas will create more competition and, in effect, lower prices. "No longer, it seems, will the world be dependent on a few nations--Iran, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmenistan--that control the bulk of conventional natural gas reserves,” proclaims Deutch.
Rob Reuteman at CNBC.com has also taken note of the approaching natural gas boom, but warns that two key problems may stand in the way of natural gas’s success: