The simple answer is - not far enough.
This excellent post by Union of Concerned Scientists' director of energy research Steve Clemmer is a must-read. It describes the potential of natural gas to combat global climate disruption - and its limits.
The post's bottom line is familiar to regular readers of this blog: natgas is an effective, but limited, near-term tool in the fight to save ourselves from the calamity of history's largest uncontrolled chemistry experiment - the carbonization of our atmosphere. We must use it for all it's worth. That requires better information and stronger regulation of natgas production and transmission - now. We must use natgas to facilitate an aggressive transition to renewable energy, and transform it into a near-zero carbon source of energy with CCS. We must urgently enact and implement energy policies that ensure the timely expansion of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The U.S. must enact limits on carbon pollution that reduce emissions at least 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. And a price must be put on carbon.
Natural gas can serve as a bridge. A hedge. A near-term tool. But it is not the answer - just as no single energy source or policy is the answer - to the complex problem of ensuring a habitable globe in the face of climate disruption. UCS' prescriptions are not surprising. They are not new. And they are achievable with the right leadership and national will. The only question is - will those prescriptions be heeded in time?