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plants. (It also could be expanded at some point to cover existing generation.) To do so, it sets an emissions cap of 1,000 lb. of carbon dioxide per megawatt- hour—a nearly impossible standard for coal-fired power plants, which average in excess of 1,800 lb. of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt-hour, to achieve. “Te only way to meet it is


with carbon capture and storage [CCS] technology, which is prohibitively expensive and years away from being commercially viable,” David Hudgins, director of member & external relations at Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), a generation and transmission co- op based in Glen Allen, Va., told


the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment in June 2012. “No company will take the risk to invest billions of dollars in a power plant in the hopes that CCS will be developed.” NSPS, as outlined, will push


power plants away from coal and toward natural gas baseload generation because most newer combined cycle gas facilities produce emissions within range of the 1,000 lb. of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour limit. But natural gas prices are more volatile than coal, making the fuel a dicey option. “Historically, natural gas


prices have varied widely, making reliance on gas as the sole fuel to provide affordable future baseload power risky at best,” says


Rae Cronmiller, environmental counsel for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the trade organization representing more than 900 electric co-ops in the U.S. “Tese risks are significantly enhanced because the cost of electricity derived from natural gas is largely driven by cost of the fuel itself. Tis differs from coal power, which is driven by capital costs. Also, natural gas in quantities necessary to provide year-round baseload generation is unavailable in some geographic areas.” Despite this, utility


experts believe that natural gas production will continue to increase and that the “blue flame” will surpass coal as the nation’s leading source of electric energy.


Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Agency. Angela Perez writes on technology issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.


Lower 48 states shale plays


Montana Thrust Belt


Cody


Hilliard- Baxter- Mancos


Big Horn Basin


Greater Green River Basin


San Joaquin Basin


Monterey- Temblor


Monterey


Santa Maria, Ventura, Los Angeles Basins


Avalon- Bone Spring Barnett- Woodford


Marfa Basin


Permian Basin


Manning Canyon


Uinta Basin


Hermosa Mancos


Piceance Basin


Paradox Basin Lewis


Denver Basin


Pierre


San Juan Basin


Raton Basin


Palo Duro Basin


Woodford


Anadarko Basin


Bend Barnett


Ft. Worth Basin


Eagle Ford


Pearsall


Western Gulf


Shale plays


Current plays Prospective plays


Stacked plays


Intermediate depth/ age Shallowest/ youngest


Deepest/ oldest


Source: Energy Information Administration based on data from various published studies. Updated: May 9, 2011


Basins Basins


* Mixed shale & chalk play


** Mixed shale & limestone play


***Mixed shale & tight dolostone-


siltstone-sandstone


Fayetteville Arkoma Basin


Chattanooga


Black Warrior Basin


Floyd- Neal


TX-LA-MS Salt Basin


Tuscaloosa


Haynesville- Bossier


0 100 Conasauga


Valley & Ridge Province


Miles 200


300 ± 400


Excello- Mulky


Powder River Basin


Niobrara* Heath**


Bakken***


Williston Basin


Gammon Mowry


Michigan Basin


Niobrara*


Park Basin


Forest City Basin


Illinois Basin


New Cherokee Platform Albany Devonian (Ohio)


Marcellus Utica


Antrim


Appalachian Basin


This page: The map shows shale gas


"plays" across the 48 lower U.S. states. The term "play" is used in the oil and gas industry to refer to a geographic area that has been targested for exploration.


Left page: Recognized nationally for its low emissions and efficient performance, Associated Electric Cooperative's Chouteau Power Plant, located in northeastern Oklahoma, is a combined-cycle, natural gas plant with the capacity to provide 1,062 megawatts of energy to member systems.


News Magazine 13


Ardmore Basin


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