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Gas Surpasses Coal as Biggest US Electricity Source
Energy

Gas Surpasses Coal as Biggest US Electricity Source

Natural gas overtook coal as the top source of US electric power generation for the first time earlier this year, a milestone that has been in the making for years as the price of gas slides and new regulations make coal more risky for power generators.
About 31% of electric power generation in April came from natural gas, and 30% from coal, according to a recently released report from the research company SNL Energy, which used data from the US Energy Department.
A drilling boom that started in 2008 has boosted US natural gas production by 30% and made the United States the world’s biggest combined producer of oil and natural gas, AP reported. Hydraulic fracturing has allowed energy companies to tap huge volumes of gas trapped deep underground in shale formations.
At the same time, power companies have been installing more natural gas turbines at plants. They have long switched between natural gas and coal, depending on commodity prices.

 

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