http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0507/feature5/index.html Demand for natural gas and the resulting land-use pressures are pitting America's Old West against the New. http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0507/sights_n_sounds/index.html http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0507/feature5/learn.html According to the article, the US produced 18.7 trillion cu ft of natural gas during 2004, but consumed 22.2 trillion cu ft during the same period. Average wellhead price of natural gas was $1.96/ 1000 cu ft in 1998, but in 2004 the price was $5.49, and that was before Katrina. Air and water pollution is a major problem for those living near a gas field. One family's well has been polluted by nearby drilling activities in which the aquifer filling the well was drained and contaminated. The so-called "nuisance fees" do not cover all the costs to homeowners whose properties are damaged and consequently devalued. The BLM has been tasked with approving permits regardless of the environmental degradation.