"We're going to be able to say in the next 10 years, 'To hell with OPEC,' " said McClendon.
Cohen echoed McClendon's sense that natgas was fast becoming a mainstream power source.
"In a very short time we've seen a five-percentage-point increase in the share of electrical generation from gas," Cohen said. "Within five years we should be very close to 50%."
Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon prefers a patriotic salve for the 32% drop in his company's share price, which has coincided with plummeting gas prices.
"The natural-gas industry has, to a large extent, been a loser because prices are so low. But the winner is the American people. I saw a statistic that the average American who heats with natural gas saved about $1,000 last year as against paying for oil."
Technically, the forum focused on the environmental impact of fracking (auto fuel prices were mostly ignored).