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Oil prices have reach record highs in recent years, most notably in 2008 when oil touched $147 US a barrel. But Raymond J. Learsy, oil analyst and author of Oil and Finance: the Epic Corruption from 2006 to 2010, tells BNN that volatile oil prices should act as a catalyst to shift American energy policy to a focus on natural gas.
"Today the divergence between [oil and natural gas] is enormous and the energy value on the per barrel basis of the current price of natural gas is the equivalent of little over $21 or $22 per barrel [for oil]," he tells BNN.
Learsy says that the vast deposits of natural gas should also spur policy makers to support natural gas.
"Natural gas is a true reflection of supply and demand, where oil prices are not," he says. "Crude oil is a world commodity that is fungible and we have prices that are dictated in large measure by trading that goes on outside of the United States."
"The way natural gas is currently priced is as a wholly American domestic commodity. We have enough natural gas in the U.S. to last at least 100 years."