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Natural Gas: Where it Fits in America’s Energy Future

Ray Suarez recently visited Colorado, where he reported on a natural gas revolution occurring in the coal-powered state. It’s part of a series on the changing landscape of energy in the United States.

For the story, Ray interviewed former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Dan Arvizu, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. We’ve provided extended excerpts from both those interviews below.

As governor of Colorado, a state known for its mining operations, Ritter pushed for reducing the reliance on coal and increasing renewable energy resources. He talks here about the competition between coal, natural gas and renewable energy.

“The question becomes how soon we can make a transition to an energy economy that reduces our emissions – let’s say in 2050 – by 80 percent, and what role gas plays in that and what role renewables play in that,” he said.

Arvizu says that natural gas and renewable sources complement each other well and when used in tandem can provide a stable source of energy for the grid. See more from him below.

Ray also reported on a booming economy in western North Dakota North Dakota and an unusual deal in Utah that involves both drilling and protecting the environment.

Online, we compiled articles, videos and social media coverage of hydraulic fracturing and we interviewed John McChesney, a former veteran reporter for NPR who now directs the Rural West Initiative at Stanford University.

Jeff Brown wraps up the series on the NewsHour Friday with a debate on the pros and cons of increased oil and gas production.

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