Connecticut puts expanded use of natural gas to test this week

Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU's Cox School of Business, talks about the state of Connecticut testing the exanded use of natural gas.

Gordes also is skeptical about nationwide predictions that the newest source of domestic natural gas — the Marcellus Shale deposit stretching from central New York State through Pennsylvania and across five other states — will keep the price of the fuel low for at least several decades.

Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, said he generally believes that government shouldn’t be involved in promoting one fuel source over another.

“If the markets are working properly, those hookups (new customers switching to natural gas) will naturally happen,” Bullock said.

And there is certainly evidence of that here in Connecticut.

Gordes said 12,000 new customers converted to natural gas in the state in 2011, and projections were that another 15,000 would do so in 2012. And last week, James Torgerson, UIL Holding’s president and chief executive officer, said the company’s three utilities in that industry — including Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas — “had converted 4,787 customers and are well on our way to achieving this year’s goal of 12,200.”...