Coalition promotes Rockies’ motherlode of natural gas as source for overseas markets |

Coalition promotes Rockies’ motherlode of natural gas as source for overseas markets

Group faces headwinds of access to markets, low gas prices and climate change concerns

Judith Kohler
The Denver Post

An organization formed to develop international markets for the Rockies’ abundant natural gas is forging ahead despite low prices and setbacks in building an export terminal on the Oregon coast that would connect the region to overseas buyers.

The Western States and Tribal Nations Natural Gas Initiative just named its first board of directors. It will soon release a report looking at how much greenhouse-gas emissions could be reduced if natural gas produced in the Rockies replaced coal-fired electricity in other countries.

Andrew Browning, Western States’ president, and Duane Zavadil, a board member and formerly an executive with the Bill Barrett Corp., acknowledge that the headwinds facing the group are strong. Natural gas prices remain low. Demand for oil and gas that plunged when the pandemic hit has risen, but is not expected to reach 2019 levels until 2029, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

There’s the growing opposition to drilling from those who favor renewable energy and fear the worsening impacts of climate change. Methane, the main component of natural gas, is more than 80 times more powerful in the near term than carbon dioxide is at trapping heat.

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