WCTA Breakfast: Natural Gas: Has the Cleantech Game Changed?

Is natural gas the next big thing?  Experts call gas revolutionary and a game-changer.  Pulitzer-Prize winner energy researcher Dr. Daniel Yergin claims that “by the beginning of this decade, the rapidity and sheer scale of the shale breakthrough and its effects on markets qualified it as the most significant innovation in energy so far since the start of the twenty-first century.”  The President has proclaimed that the United States is “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.”

See the discussion:  Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

  • April 5, 730-900 a.m.
  • Dorsey & Whitney, Columbia Tower, 701 Fifth Ave, Suite 6100 , Seattle
  • Moderator: Kirt Montague, Principal in NewPath Energy Capital, LLC and Chair, WCTA: NewPath Energy Capital is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Black River Asset Management’s newly created LNG Fund. NPEC is focused primarily on acquiring and leasing LNG and CNG related equipment including storage tanks, vaporizers, mobile re-fuelers, transport trailers, and CNG and LNG fueling stations. NPEC also looks for investments in: 1) Projects, preferably with strategic partners, in the development, construction, and operation of LNG production facilities; and 2) Companies that enable the use of natural gas using CNG or LNG including equipment providers and service companies.  Find the slides that Kirt used to open the discussion here.
  • Keynote Comments–Dan Kirschner, Executive Director, Northwest Gas Association, West Linn, OR.  An expert on natural gas matters, Kirschner works to foster understanding among opinion leaders and informed decision-making by governing officials on issues related to natural gas in the region.  Kirschner adds an MBA to his policy and public affairs experience giving him a unique perspective on the intersection of public policy and business imperatives. His duties with the NWGA include formulating and disseminating market intelligence, policy analysis on issues affecting the Northwest regional natural gas market, and communicating the industry’s perspective on a variety of issues to an array of stakeholders.  Find Dan’s presentation slides here:  Dan Kirschner Natural Gas 040512.
  • Respondent–Garret Alpers, President, World CNG.  With over 25 years of experience in the development, fabrication, and installation of alternative fuel systems, World CNG is a well-established leader in the alternative transportation fuels industry. A continually growing company, World CNG specializes in the conversion of small- and medium-duty passenger and cargo vehicles to use compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of conventional gasoline. World CNG primarily caters to public and private fleets, public and private transit groups, and state and municipal governments.
  • Respondent–Jim Mothersbaugh, President and CEO, WaterTectonics.  WaterTectonics is an Everett-based water treatment technology company.  Jim originally founded the company in 1999 to address the needs of commercial and industrial stormwater clients in the greater Puget Sound area.  In the mid-2000’s, WaterTectonics diversified into the oil and gas industry, primarily providing technology to treat frac and flowback water from natural gas drilling operations. After a few years in the industry, WaterTectonics was recognized as one of the leading companies and shortly thereafter secured a technology licensing agreement with Halliburton. Today, WaterTectonics continues to support commercial, industrial, and energy-related water projects across North America.
  • Respondent–Jim Hansen, Ravenna Capital Management


More information and perspectives:

Perspectives on Shale:

  • Boosters:  Amy Myers Jaffe, Wall Street Journal, “Shale Gas Will Rock the World,” May 10, 2010.
  •  Skeptics:  Kirk Johnson, New York Times, “E.P.A. Links Tainted Water in Wyoming to Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas,” December 8, 2011


  • Less than we thought:  Christina Buurma, Bloomberg, “U.S. Cuts Estimate for Marcellus Shale Gas Reserves by 66%,” January 23, 2012.
  • More than we thought:  Knovel, “U.S. Geological Survey: North Alaska Holds Vast Natural Gas, Oil Reserves,” February 24, 2012.

Technology (How it works):  American Petroleum Institute, several videos and papers on how natural gas is extracted.

Public Policy: