If we are serious about reducing carbon emissions, natural gas looks like a winner, concludes a recent report by M.I.T. researchers. For the next several decades, they think, natural gas will play a crucial role in enabling big reductions in carbon emissions.
One reason: There seems to be plenty of natural gas. MIT researchers say baseline estimates show that recoverable gas resources probably amount to 16,200 trillion cubic feet. That's enough to last over 160 years at current global consumption rates. Even better, this estimate doesn't count unconventional gas resources, such as shale, which are largely uncharacterized outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Researchers also say the use of compressed or liquefied natural gas as a fuel for vehicles could help to displace oil to some degree. But they say the effect will be limited because of the high cost of converting vehicles to use these fuels.
You can download a free copy of the full report at this link: