Natural Gas Shortage

Archive Report

Impending Scarcities This Winter

Probable Dimensions of Natural Gas Curtailment

Just two winters after the Arab oil embargo, the United States must face another severe energy shortage. This time the threatened energy source is not oil but natural gas, which is hardly less critical to the well-being of the American economy. Natural gas represents about one-third of the total fuel consumed in the United States. It is used in over 40 million homes, 3.4 million commercial establishments, and 200,000 industrial plants.1 Unlike the sudden oil embargo in 1973, the natural gas shortage has been growing for some time.

Since 1968, the nation has been consuming more natural gas than it has been adding to its reserves. The low cost, clean-burning quality, and (until recently) availability of natural ...

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