That’s made a big difference in the lives of farmers such as Shawn Georgetti, who used to live paycheck to paycheck, putting necessary expenses on credit cards. Not anymore. The royalty payments have eased things considerably. “You don’t have that problem anymore,” he said. “It’s a lot more fun to farm.”
Fortunately, our national supply of natural gas is not about to run out anytime soon. The U.S. has more than a century’s worth (at current consumption rates) underground, waiting to be extracted, according to Heritage Foundation energy expert Nicolas Loris.
Which is very good news. If you’ve ever seen a bus or truck roll by with a sign reading “powered by natural gas,” you can see the potential. Natural gas is critical for generating electricity, providing about 30 percent of America’s power. But it’s also necessary for heating and cooling homes, stoves, furnaces and water heaters.
Natural gas also has several industrial applications. Natural gas, and hydrocarbons removed from it, provide a feedstock for fertilizers, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, waste treatment, food processing, fueling industrial boilers, and much more. More vehicles of all sizes are running on natural gas as well.
“The natural-gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence,” President Obama pointed out in his most recent State of the Union address. “That’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.”
The sooner, the better. Deliberately locking away such a promising energy source is a pointless waste.