GTFS: Global Trends and Future Scenarios Index

Prudent Development: Realizing the Potential of North America’s Abudant Natural Gas and Oil Reserves


Executive Summary (excerpt)

Study Request

By letter dated September 16, 2009, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu requested the NPC to conduct studies on two topics: (1) Future Transportation Fuels; and (2) Prudent Development of North American Natural Gas and Oil Resources. The Secretary stated that the Council is uniquely positioned to provide advice to the Department of Energy on these important topics.

In the Fuels Study request, Secretary Chu asked the Council to “conduct a study which would analyze U.S. fuels prospects through 2030 for auto, truck, air, rail, and waterborne transport,” with advice sought on “policy options and pathways for integrating new fuels and vehicles into the marketplace including infrastructure development.” Expanding on his September 2009 request, in a supplemental letter dated April 30, 2010, Secretary Chu further asked that the Fuels Study examine actions industry and government could take to stimulate the technological advances and market conditions needed to reduce life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. transportation sector by 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels, while enhancing the nation’s energy security and economic prosperity. That study is now underway, with an anticipated completion in the first half of 2012.

This North American Resources Study report is the Council’s response to the second study request, in which Secretary Chu asked the NPC to “reassess the North American natural gas and oil resources supply chain and infrastructure potential, and the contribution that natural gas can make in a transition to a lower carbon fuel mix.” He further expressed his interest in “advice on policy options that would allow prudent development of North American natural gas and oil resources consistent with government objectives of environmental protection, economic growth, and national security.” In his supplemental letter of April 2010, Secretary Chu stated: “the “the United States sees a future in which valuable domestic energy resources are responsibly produced to meet the needs of American energy consumers consistent with national, environmental, economic and energy security goals, … [and the United States] has the opportunity to demonstrate global leadership in technological and environmental innovation. Accordingly, I request the Council’s advice on potential technology and policy actions capable of achieving this vision.” Appendix A contains full copies of both letters from the Secretary.