“America's energy boom will continue for decades, and natural gas will replace coal as the largest source of U.S. electricity by 2035, the Department of Energy forecast today. U.S. production of crude oil will increase through 2016, when it will approach the record set in 1970, before leveling off and then slowly declining after 2020. Natural gas production will grow steadily, jumping 56% from 2012 to 2040, according to an early release of an annual report by DOE's Energy Information Administration.” [USA Today, December 16, 2013. “U.S. forecasts natural gas boom through 2040”]
It wasn’t too long ago when the U.S. energy dependence fueled projections of a steady increase in energy prices. As had happened previously in Europe, this drove U.S. companies and individuals to a new level of sensitivity towards the potential financial impacts of resource usage and efficiency. In addition, there was an acceleration of focus on responsible consumption based on sheer global scarcity, and the environmental impact of green-house gases and carbon footprints. Sustainability became a hot topic.