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Acquiring, Developing, and Transporting Natural Gas For the Industrial or Other End User

J. Evans Attwell, Proceedings of 23rd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1977)

Origin Of The Problem

A. Natural Gas Shortage

President Carter has called natural gas our most precious fuel, not only because of its high energy content, but because natural gas does not pollute the environment. Since World War II all segments of our economy have come to depend upon natural gas because of its clean burning characteristics and its artifically low price vis--vis alternate fuels thanks to the Federal Power Commission regulation following the Phillips decision in 1954. The importance of natural gas to our economy cannot be over-emphasized. Even today, natural gas provides 35.9% of all energy consumed in the United States; it supplies over half of the energy users in the residential-commercial sector, and the largest share of energy consumed by industry. The same point is made from a different perspective when you realize that the gas industry still supplies almost three times as much energy each year as the electric industry.

Although rumblings about possible gas shortages began in the late 1960's, the volcano did not erupt until November, 1970, when United Gas Pipeline Company had the dubious distinction of becoming the first major interstate pipeline to commence curtailing deliveries of gas on a system-wide basis because of a shortage of supply. United [826] was not alone for very long. During the past few years virtually every inters