November 1, 2022

Axios: Natural gas will accelerate the clean energy future

Advancing emission reduction goals must be a shared global effort, where countries around the world work to balance affordability and reliability with emissions reduction goals.

But recent events have pushed these shared goals backward.

One solution: Supporting the construction and modernizations of infrastructure to transport more U.S. natural gas can help meet global and domestic demand for clean, reliable energy.

An abundant, affordable source of energy, U.S. natural gas can also fast-track climate goals and empower our allies to grow their energy independence.

What you need to know: For now, EU countries minimize dependence on Russia by reducing gas consumption through government-imposed restrictions. And Germany is relying on coal-fired power plants to refill gas inventories, which opposes climate change mitigation.

Why it’s important: Coal accounted for more than 40% of the growth in global CO2 emissions in 2021. Increased coal production to weather the disruption of Russian supplies hinders clean energy production.

However, natural gas can accelerate the shift to renewable energy sources like solar and wind to achieve wide-scale decarbonization while meeting current demand.

As the world’s largest producer of natural gas, the U.S. produced 934 billion cubic meters in 2021. Plus, it holds 473.3 trillion cubic feet of proved reserves as of 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates.

But expanded natural gas exports to meet the Biden Administration’s goal of supporting European allies may be at risk — producers are halted by years of delays and canceled U.S. energy infrastructure projects that would allow quickly increasing capacity for producing and shipping gas.

In other words: There’s more than enough U.S. natural gas to meet global and domestic demand for clean and low-carbon energy and keep costs stable for American consumers.

How it’s done: Improving the regulatory environment can enable expanded natural gas infrastructure to sustainably source, transport and distribute it from producing wells to end-use consumers. We also need transmission systems to safely transport LNG to export facilities and in larger capacities.

Some clean developments and technologies include:

Looking ahead: America’s environmentally friendly natural gas system is well-positioned to support increased production for export to Europe without jeopardizing domestic supply or raising energy costs.

However, it’s imperative that energy and environmental regulation permits more investment in infrastructure expansions.

Additionally, partnering renewable resources with natural gas means the U.S. can reach climate goals faster without sacrificing reliability and affordability.

Learn more about building a clean energy future.