Supplements to Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century?

August 29, 2011 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to the Post Carbon Institute for this set of supplementary reports on the report, Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century? On May 12th PCI released Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century?. Written by PCI Fellow J. David Hughes, the detailed report argues that the natural gas industry has propagated dangerously false claims about natural gas production supply, cost and environmental impact. The report calls into question the prevalent assumption that we have access to over a century of cheap and easy natural gas.

Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century has been requested by local, state and federal agencies, media and concerned citizens worldwide. Within three weeks of its release, the report has been downloaded over 11,000 times.

PCI has now released three supplements to the report that they hope you’ll find of interest and value:

Agriculture and Natural Gas” by PCI Fellow Michael Bomford

Problems and Opportunities with Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel” by PCI Adviser Richard Gilbert and PCI Fellow Anthony Perl

Public Health Concerns of Shale Gas Production” by PCI Fellows Brian Schwartz, MD, and Cindy Parker, MD.

Download all three reports in one volume at

Following is additional information about the contents of these three reports.


Agriculture and Natural Gas
By Michael Bomford
The vast majority of natural gas supporting American agriculture today is used to manufacture farm inputs like pesticides, plastics, and fertilizers — and nitrogen fertilizer production in turn accounts for most of that. Moreover, synthetic fertilizer used in the U.S. is increasingly imported, further increasing our dependence on gas from foreign and unconventional (i.e., shale gas) resources. These constraints underline the need for a stronger push towards organic agriculture and other fossil fuel free food system solutions.

Problems and Opportunities with Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel
By Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl
Despite the hype to the contrary, natural gas should have only a modest role in fueling future mobility. And the best use of this limited fuel is not to burn it directly in internal combustion engines, but rather to generate electricity (while also generating heat in efficient cogeneration arrangements) to power a 21st century electrified transportation system.

Public Health Concerns of Shale Gas Production
By Brian Schwartz, MD and Cindy Parker, MD
With so many existing and projected shale gas wells expected to remain in operation for years and thus leave a legacy of contaminated air, soil, and water, the long-term and cumulative effects over space and time converge to raise the public health concerns to a high level. The EPA and public health scientists need to better evaluate the risks, and determine how best to regulate shale gas production to avoid another legacy — as happened with coal — affecting the health and well-being of millions of people for generations.

Current World Population


Net Growth During Your Visit