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2005 Policy Positions
of the Southern Legislative Conference



The rising domestic price of natural gas threatens America’s economy.  In 2003, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned that high natural gas supply and demand imbalances could harm the U.S. economy.  The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments (SLC) recognizes the gravity of this threat, and believes it must be thoughtfully and effectively addressed. 

Residential natural gas prices demonstrate the problem.  Families have seen their costs more than quadruple from roughly $3 per thousand cubic feet in the 1980s to nearly $13 in April 2005.  Both domestic manufacturers and farmers need natural gas to sustain our economy and to grow and process crops.  These sectors are coping with similar price increases and are losing ground to foreign competitors who enjoy natural gas prices that are a small fraction of America’s.  

Natural gas is mainly used by America’s industrial (34 percent), power (24 percent), residential (21 percent), and commercial (14 percent) sectors.  Unless our supply and demand needs are better addressed, families, farmers and manufactures will be hurt.  Gas production from existing wells has dropped, wellhead prices are up, and overseas energy supplies are uncertain. These trends must be reversed.   


The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments urges federal policymakers to implement policies supporting:

  • Greater conservation and efficiency;
  • Credits for advanced recovery of domestic energy sources; 
  • Improved and expanded energy networks (e.g., pipelines, terminals, and ports);
  • Environmentally-sensitive access to domestic gas reserves;
  • Energy research and development; 
  • Renewable energy (e.g., solar, biomass, and wind energy) and promising new energy technologies (e.g., coal gasification); and 
  • Enhanced fuel flexibility capabilities (e.g., including new generation nuclear technology).


Adopted by the Southern Legislative Conference, August 2, 2005, Mobile, Alabama

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