I am proud to participate again in the launch of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. As always, Bloomberg New Energy Finance has put together a detailed look at our nation’s energy picture and an expert discussion of the path we are on. The only way to examine this path is through a fact-based dialogue, and this report has once again reinvigorated this discussion.
The Sustainable Energy in America Factbook continues to prove that growth in renewable energy can happen simultaneously with a growth in natural gas and a strong U.S. economy. Between 2007 and 2014, U.S. carbon emissions from the energy sector dropped 9 percent, U.S. natural gas production rose 25 percent and total U.S. investment in renewables and other clean energy technologies was more than $385 billion. Natural gas is a foundation fuel and working alongside renewables and energy efficiency it provides an incredible opportunity to deliver the essential energy that will help drive economic growth while protecting the environment.
2014 was another record year for natural gas use. In the midst of the ‘polar vortex’ in January of last year, the natural gas delivery system set daily, weekly, and monthly records. Natural gas reliability was tested, but local utility customers throughout the country continued to receive dependable service at affordable prices. Diligent planning and preparedness of natural gas utilities and the strategic use of underground storage made sure resources were available during peak demand periods. At year end, natural gas demand hit 66.9 Bcf per day, an increase of 1.8 Bcf per day compared to 2013. The natural gas industry is responding, building and reconfiguring infrastructure to reflect the changes of this shifting and rapidly expanding market including changes to how we move gas around the country.
This national trend is made possible by the work being done in communities throughout our country. Using natural gas in your home or business saves money and reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Local utilities are delivering these energy solutions every day to customers across the nation.
Thank you to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy for leading this dialogue about how our nation can remain on the path towards sustainability. Natural gas utilities will continue to serve our customers safely and reliably and remind policymakers at every level of the inherent benefits of the direct use of natural gas.