This morning Iím going to talk about natural gas in 2020.Whoís going to use it?Whereís it going to come from?And how much will it cost?

These projections are from the Annual Energy Outlook 2001, which provides projections of domestic energy consumption, supply, prices, and carbon emissions.They are the product of the Energy Information Administration, an independent analytical and statistical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy.We do not speak for any particular point of view on energy policy, and our views should not be construed as representing those of the Department or the Administration.

Assumptions are critical to any forecast.The projections are not statements of what will happen but of what might happen, given certain assumptions. The reference case projections are business-as-usual forecasts, given known technology and technological trends, demographic trends, and current laws and regulations.

EIA does not propose, advocate, or speculate on changes in laws and regulations.So, one of our key assumptions is that all current laws and regulations remain as enacted.ForAEO2001, that means, for example, that ultra-low-sulfur diesel restrictions are not included in this forecast, because the EPA did not issued a final rule until December.

Iím going to do four things in this talk: First look briefly at the overall forecast, then address gas supply, interstate pipelines, and, finally, natural gas prices.Letís now look at the overall forecast, beginning with a look at one of the key assumptions behind the forecast, that of economic growth.