It's long been a popular fuel for industrial use, and even got some play in the transportation market. Now natural gas will be even more popular in America because IT'S ACTUALLY BECOMING MORE PLENTIFUL. U.S. oil production has been dropping annually since 1970. Natural gas production is increasing thanks to new technology and new gas fields opened up by that tech. Now there's some discussion of how to make it more available for transport in addition to its already substantial presence in electricity generation, direct-burning for industrial processes and home use. Natural gas burns far cleaner than coal and most petroleum products making it less of a problem for any efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.
Here's how we Americans use our natural gas now, split almost exactly three ways between electricity generation, home and commercial use and industrial use:
electricity generation 30%
industrial 34 %
home and commercial 34%
Even with increased domestic production the U.S. imports over 15% of its natural gas annually. From Canada mostly. There is little shipping of liquified natural, unlike crude oil which is shipped in huge quantities across oceans daily.
Natural gas is already a more prevalent source of energy in America than coal. Almost one-fourth of our energy comes from natural gas here. Petroleum is number one at nearly 40% as an energy source. If natural gas becomes more available for vehicles, it may cut into petroleum's lead. Renewables are only about 7% of current U.S. energy use.