Posted July 9, 2018
There’s good and not-so-good in a recent Washington Post editorial on natural gas and climate policy, which rightly nails the importance of natural gas to the U.S. economy and the environment, yet wrongly suggests more layers of government regulation are needed to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted February 16, 2017
There’s a lot of good news to be found in EPA’s draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2015, which came out this week – all of it underscoring progress, much of it led by industry, in reducing emissions – even as American consumers and the U.S. economy are supplied the energy they need.
Posted November 28, 2016
There is indeed critically important climate progress being made in the United States, thanks to an energy transition – though perhaps not precisely the one EPA’s Gina McCarthy had in mind. It’s natural gas – the increased use of which is the primary reason the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects U.S. energy-related carbon emissions this year will be the lowest since 1992.
Posted October 7, 2016
Posted August 31, 2016
In recent months we’ve posted a number of times on the “U.S. Model” of domestic energy and economic growth – coupled with greenhouse gas reductions (see here, here and here). Let that sink in: The United States is simultaneously the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas and the world leader in reducing emissions. Energy growth and climate progress together. That’s the U.S. Model. It’s important to grasp the impacts of the U.S. model – and also how it came about.
Posted August 3, 2016
Some context for legal challenges to EPA’s final rule for new oil and natural gas sources, filed individually this week by a coalition of states, API and other organizations.
As we’ve noted before, methane emissions from field production of natural gas are falling – mainly because industry wants to capture as much of the primary component of natural gas as possible, to deliver to customers. Industry is on it, deploying technologies and know-how to prevent emissions during production. Bottom line: In a period of soaring production, we’ve had falling methane emissions.
This is happening under the current regulatory regime.
Posted March 30, 2016
Methane emissions have dropped significantly. Since 2005, emissions from field production of natural gas have dropped 38 percent, and emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have plunged 79 percent.
These facts bear repeating in light of the Obama administration’s announcement that it is pursuing yet another set of methane regulations. Not only are the additional regulations duplicative and unnecessary, given industry’s success in reducing emissions under current regulations, but the new rules could actually undermine progress.
Posted March 22, 2016
We’ve read the articles about how affordable natural gas – much of it from the Marcellus Shale in next-door Pennsylvania – has benefitted New York and specifically New York City. So it’s puzzling to hear about a recent effort in New York to block expansion of an Upstate natural gas storage plant in the name of a “climate emergency,” as one activist put it – puzzling because natural gas is doing more to reduce U.S. emissions than any other fuel. The New York Times reports:
“The irony is this,” said Phil West, a spokesman for Spectra Energy, whose pipeline projects, including those in New York State, have come under attack. “The shift to additional natural gas use is a key contributor to helping the U.S. reduce energy-related emissions and improve air quality.”
Unfortunately, this is an example of out-of-the-mainstream activism at work, threatening to roll back important American progress on emissions that has occurred during a period of economic growth and rising domestic energy output. We say this is out of the mainstream because we reckon the real alarm would sound among New Yorkers if access to affordable natural gas got harder for lack of infrastructure – pipelines, pumping stations, storage installations and the like.
Posted September 18, 2015
Below is the second in a series of posts on the intersection of energy development and the pursuit of climate goals. Yesterday, API President CEO weighed in on the administration’s Clean Power Plan and its flawed approach of picking winners and losers in the energy sector. Today – rising natural gas use plays a key role in falling emissions of carbon dioxide – even as levels of methane and ozone decline.
Talk of climate change and climate-related goals is everywhere. We pay special attention when the climate talk turns to energy development – because there’s a great climate story stemming from America’s energy revolution.
Let’s start with emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). The U.S. Energy Information Administration tells us that monthly power sector CO2 emissions in April were the lowest for any month since April 1988. That’s a 27-year low.
Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 1, 2011