Future of natural gas and hydrofracking topic of business lunch - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Future of natural gas subject of business luncheon

Thousands of Lake Area jobs depend on natural gas.

But the price of natural gas is still low, causing concerns over the industry's future.

That's where the American Gas Association comes in.

The organization aims to promote natural gas and one of its biggest voices is a Sulphur native.

Dr. Paula Gant now lives in Washington, D.C. and holds a top spot in policy and planning for the industry association.

And, Tuesday, she was in the Lake Area.

Natural gas is used in industry and by consumers for heating and cooking and increasingly, in cars.

Gant said the industry wants consumers to know that natural gas offers a safe and clean form of energy.

Gant is a McNeese State University graduate but is now the senior vice president of policy and planning for the American Gas Association in Washington, D.C.

Gant spoke at a lunch hosted by the West Calcasieu Association of Commerce and the Southwest Economic Development Alliance.

" We have a tremendous amount of natural gas in this country and thanks to U.S. Technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling and the tremendous investments we've made in pipelines we can get that natural gas to your homes and businesses at prices that are really affordable," Gant said, adding that it can be extracted from the ground safely.

" Using existing technology and existing practices applied consistently across the board, this resource is being developed responsibly and can continue to be developed responsibly.  And where it's not developed responsibly, we should have the appropriate regulations to enforce them so that companies have incentive to develop it properly."

Gant said the industry is confident both presidential candidates recognize the importance of gas for the future.

"Both this administration and if there is another administration that follows it next year that it's tremendously focused on the potential for natural gas to fuel our economic growth, so we think whatever happens with this election that it bodes well for the natural gas industry," she said.

 And she said there is increasing progress toward the availability and practicality of cars that use natural gas. She also expects to see more and more on the road in the future.

For more on the natural gas industry, visit the American Gas Association's web site.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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