Promised Land movie about the practices of some fracking companies (the new Monsantos to hate?) gave me the idea for a post on natural gas.
I just learned recently that $82 of natural gas plus $0 of free air can be sold as a $800 ton of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer to farmers. It looks like the 75% drop in price of natural gas production has not translated into a similar drop for its subproducts, and it makes one wonder if farming is the right business ;), when natural gas is expected to go on at a high rate for the next hundred years or so, long after the last drops of oil on U.S. territory had been sucked up and burned.
Of course, natural gas is cheap because the producers are not paying up front for the environmental and other costs, we'll be passing that to our children and grand-children. For instance, a single well can require as much as ten million gallons of water to "frack" that gas out of the shale rock where it is locked. Probably an extreme estimate, but still, it gives an idea. The polluted water is usually returned into the shale rock or into deep underground reservoirs where it cannot be used anymore without costly purification. Not really great, because after having depleted the aquifers, we or our children could probably have tapped that deep underground clean water...