by Mark Krebs, Spire Energy, and E&E Legal’s Tom Tanton
As Appearing in MasterResource
“What Secretary Perry has yet to recognize is that the same hostile forces behind the ‘war against coal’ are now focused on eliminating the direct use of natural gas…. By taking a fresh look at the economic importance of natural gas direct use, this path can be changed; assuming the political will exists to do the right thing by consumers.”
Nationwide, natural gas is distributed to over 73.5 million homes and businesses for a wide variety of uses, such as cooking, water and home heating.  In doing so, it delivers 38% more energy  for 15% of the costs of electricity.  Natural gas energy losses are only about 10 percent of its usable energy from the point of wellhead extraction to the consumers’ utility meter. For electricity, about 70% of initial energy content is lost by the time it reaches consumer’s electric meters.
Additionally, direct use of natural gas represents approximately a two-thirds reduction in overall energy use and emissions, even when including the expanded use of natural gas in electricity generation. The direct use of natural gas also saves consumers an estimated $479 billion per year in utility costs relative to electricity while alleviating unnecessary expenses for “improving” the electric grid.