Texas business deal reflects confidence that natural gas will power the U.S. for decades

The Houston Chronicle reported in a recent article that Kinder Morgan purchased natural gas giant, El Paso Corp. for $21.1 billion, showing confidence in the future of shale gas although the political outlook remains unclear. Federal legislation which would likely drive new demand for the fossil fuel to power vehicles has stalled in Washington. During this time, federal regulators are considering going in the opposite direction by imposing new regulations on natural gas drilling. However, a senior consultant with research firm Frost & Sullivan quotes that, "[t]he resounding success of shale gas exploration will remain a key driver of growth for the pipeline industry for years to come." As a result of this deal, Kinder Morgan will become the largest North American owner and operator of natural gas pipelines and storage facilities.