Like many of those in the energy industry, today we watched as Senators Kerry and Lieberman unveiled their climate change bill, the American Power Act, to the public. We commend the senators, including Senator Graham, for reaching out to the many stakeholders of this bill, including business, consumer, and environmental groups, as they crafted language.
As expected, the bill is a mixed bag for natural gas utilities. AGA is pleased to note that it includes proportional allowance allocation, and also recognizes that mandating that one-third of those allowances be spent on energy efficiency programs is not achievable. However, it does not meet other threshold criteria that AGA would like to see in any climate legislation, including end-use natural gas related research and development and carbon labeling for appliances.
AGA continues to point to the industry’s stellar emissions record –our customers have reduced carbon emissions by 40 percent over the last 40 years – as proof that our models are working, and working well.
For AGA’s full statement, click here.
When Kevin Harvick raced the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet to victory at the Talladega Speedway last weekend, he also shined a spotlight on digging safety. Harvick helped celebrate National Safe Digging Month by sporting the “Call 811” logo on the deck lid and rocker panels of the No. 29 car to help educate fans about the importance of following the proper safety procedures when digging.
Photo credit: Harold Hinson
A quick call to 811 can help avoid damage to underground utilities, which can cause injuries, environmental incidents, and disruption of services. Visit www.call811.com for additional information.
Thanks to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) for sending along the news clip. Harvick’s sponsor, Shell, is a member of CGA, and included the panels to show support for National Safe Digging Month.
Photo credit: Harold Hinson
Posted in safety
Because AGA represents member utilities that deliver natural gas to 169 million Americans, we have a vested interest in the country’s supply picture. So we were pleased when our resident supply expert, Chris McGill, told us that in 2009 natural gas supply remained “bullish,” and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. This trend is a result of the influences of unconventional resources such as natural gas from shale and tight sands.
Based on numbers reported to the SEC, in 2009 it appears the “known reserves” of natural gas in the United States increased for the eleventh straight year, now approaching 250 trillion cubic feet– the highest level in more than 35 years. This record number is good news for natural gas customers, signifying that our country can continue to rely on natural gas as a staple of its energy mix.
Interestingly, BP, the largest U.S. producer of natural gas in 2009, produced less than five percent of the national total for the year – meaning the natural gas production industry remains competitive. Other large producers and reserves holders include household names such as ExxonMobil, yet, significant volumes of gas are produced by others such as Chesapeake Energy, Devon, Anadarko and EOG Resources. In fact, thousands of other large, mid-size and small producers provided the bulk of domestic natural gas to local distribution companies last year.
For a breakdown of the numbers and further analysis, take a look at the report.
Posted in Natural Gas
Today, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and several energy industry leaders spoke to a group of key stakeholders in DC about the potential for natural gas in America’s low-carbon future.
During the forum, which was sponsored by AGA, the American Gas Foundation and the Congressional Quarterly- Roll Call group, Sen. Murkowski said that any bill that fails to rely on natural gas to help lower emissions is “unacceptable.” She went on to tout the record of residential and commercial natural gas users in lowering total emissions over the last four decades.
The senator also pointed to natural gas as a backup for renewables, stating, “renewables need base load supply, and natural gas can be that supply.”
Others on the panel, including Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners, Sharon Buccino of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Bill Cantrell of the Council for Responsible Energy, Vello Kuuskraa of Advanced Resources International and Dr. Robert Simon of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee addressed such issues as access to domestic natural gas, hydraulic fracturing and natural gas vehicles.
Quoting the journalist Robert Bryce, Senator Murkowski concluded, “Wood was the dominant fuel source in the 19th century, and oil in the 20th century. Natural gas should be the dominant fuel source in the 21st century.”
Visit this link to view a video of the forum.