One thing that I do not understand is why natural gas is being pushed so much by "environmentalists", particularly because natural gas does produce quite a bit of carbon dioxide when burned. Not as much as coal, mind you, but enough to be a major contributor of carbon dioxide pollution. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are hardly efficient and are basically a roundabout way of burning natural gas as natural gas burning generators have to take up the slack when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. There are also vehicles that run on liquified natural gas as opposed to gasoline. If we look at the annual estimated end use statistics for natural gas since 1949, you will see that consumption has risen greatly*.
Also, looking at this graph, you can see that the annual wellhead price for natural gas has risen sharply to meet demand since the year 2000*.
Natural gas is as much as a fossil fuel as coal and oil yet much of the renewables paradigm is leading to a rapid increase in natural gas consumption both on the atmosphere as well as depletion of consumers wallets. Because of the rapid fluctuations in price that natural gas is subject to, this increasingly expensive fuel energy source is an impractical alternative for running an energy grid. It will also make coal cheaper by comparison and lead to increased usage of coal in the long run as natural gas prices continue to climb at a much faster rate than coal prices.
To make a long story short, natural gas is a fossil fuel and like all fossil fuels has major disadvantages. The renewables movement only increases our reliance on fossil fuels in the form of natural gas and coal while derailing interest and funding from viable sources of energy such as nuclear power. I do not mean to come off as being harsh in regards to solar and wind power, but the only practical application that either of these two energy sources seem to have is for the operation of small appliances or for pumping water.
*As provided by the US Energy Information Administration.