Yenra : Energy : Natural Gas Policy : Fueling the Demands of a Growing Economy

At the 112th annual meeting of the National Petroleum Council (NPC), Robert B. Catell, Chairman and CEO of KeySpan Corporation, today participated in the presentation of a report, "Balancing Natural Gas Policy: Fueling the Demands of a Growing Economy," to U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham.

Mr. Catell made the presentation in his role as a Vice-Chairman of the National Petroleum Council's Natural Gas Committee, which analyzed the current and projected use of natural gas by electric-power generators, the industrial sector, and 60 million American homes.

"We believe that the study and our recommendations will provide the Administration, the Congress, and the American public with a clearer picture of the country's energy needs, resources, and opportunities, said Mr. Catell. "We worked with the assumption that the American people seek energy reliability without sacrificing clean air and water, and made proposals that we believe are in the best long-term interests of the country."

The study calls for a proactive public policy that reduces regulatory impediments to fuel flexible power generation, pipelines, and Liquid Natural Gas import capacity, assuming expanding use of LNG and renewable sources of energy. The report notes that "Regulatory barriers to long-term contracts for transportation and storage impair infrastructure investment."

The report notes that "Natural gas plays a critical role in the economy for multiple energy uses," and projects that "Traditional North American producing areas will provide 75% of long-term U.S. gas needs, but will be unable to meet projected demand." However, the report states "Increased access to U.S. resources, excluding wilderness areas and national parks, could save consumers $300 billion in natural gas costs over the next 20 years." Moreover, "New, large-scale resources such as LNG and Arctic gas are available and could meet 20%-25% of demand, but are higher-cost and have long lead times."

According to the report, "Energy efficiency and conservation are vital near-term and long-term mechanisms for moderating price levels and reducing volatility." Over the next 20 years, the report states, increased energy efficiency, immediate development of new resources, and flexibility in fuel choice could save $1 trillion in U.S. natural gas costs.

KeySpan Corporation (now part of National Grid USA) is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast with 2.5 million customers, operating regulated natural gas utilities in New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire under the KeySpan Energy Delivery service company. This customer focused business is complemented by the Energy Services business which offers a portfolio of energy-related products, services and solutions to homes and businesses under the KeySpan Home Energy Services and KeySpan Business Solutions companies.