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Natural Gas

Pro   Con

Sulfur-free combustion makes natural gas the cleanest of all fossil fuels.1

Natural gas is easily stored, transported and controlled in large volumes.2

Natural gas is a versatile and efficient fuel.3


The use of natural gas releases large quantities of nitrogen oxides and causes water pollution.4

Handling liquified natural gas (LNG) entails risks from vapor clouds, fire and explosions. There is no fire-fighting technique for dealing with LNG transport fires.5

Pipeline networks for the transportation of natural gas from well to consumer are expensive and are limited by geography.6

AMA Commentary

Because of its current low cost and abundance, many utilities in the U.S. are planning to build small gas-fired plants to supplement their existing electrical generating capacity.7

Natural gas burns much more cleanly than other fossil fuels, and produces almost no solid waste, sludge, or water pollution.8 However, the extraction and delivery of natural gas poses the risk of damage to natural habitats through pipeline leaks and fires.9

Worldwide reserves of natural gas are thought to be abundant compared to the current production rate,10 but there is a disagreement about how much gas can be exploited.11 More than 40 percent of the world's known gas reserves are in the Soviet Union, with other large reserves in the Middle East and North America.12

1 Gabel, op. cit., p. 88.
2 Ibid.
3 Bander & Belaire, op. cit., p. 116.
4 Gabel, op. cit., p. 88.
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid., and Deudney & Flavin, op. cit., p. 18.
7 Energy Security, op. cit., p. 157.
8 Ibid., p. 117.
9 Energy in Transition, op. cit., p. 480.
10 Energy Security, op. cit., pp. 116-117.
11 Peirce, op. cit., pp. 180-181.
12 Energy Security, op. cit., p. 117.