From the October 01, 2012 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Energy’s countdown to the election

Patton says that neither Obama nor Romney are interested in natural gas, which he describes as the “red-headed step child of energy right now” but an option that the country should focus on more. “[Natural gas] prices are going to remain depressed for an extended period of time,” he says (see “Bear market?”). “I don’t see much upside given natural gas supply massively outstrips demand. Prices between $3 and $4 is the future of natural gas over the next four or five years.”


The long-term outlook for natural gas production, if not for price, is bright because the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2012 energy outlook expects domestic production to outpace consumption. The EIA estimates the United States will become a net exporter of natural gas by around 2022.

 Zarembski suggests that a “potentially huge difference” will be seen in U.S. energy planning depending on which party controls the White House and Congress after the election. 

Patton, on the other hand, says that the United States has not had an energy policy in the past 40 years. “It’s nauseating how poor the country is at trying to pave a path forward on energy policy. It’s all just a bunch of hot air from both sides.”

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