Read my latest response on the National Journal’s Energy and Environment Experts blog to the question, “Should Congress Embrace A ‘Clean Energy’ Standard?”
AGA has long supported, to the fullest extent possible, the development of a diverse domestic energy supply, including coal, oil, nuclear, wind, hydro, solar and, of course, natural gas. Senator Graham’s proposal, while an important first step, does not fully engage all of America’s low-carbon tools in our fight to reduce carbon emissions; specifically, it omits natural gas. As Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently told us at an AGA Board of Directors meeting, natural gas is a necessary component of any truly renewable energy program.
The fact remains that all of the power produced by alternative and renewable fuel sources meets only a small portion of the country’s daily energy needs, and those dependent on solar and wind to produce electricity rely on natural gas as a back-up fuel when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. A realistic plan for a low-carbon future, therefore, must include, and support, traditional and proven fuel sources such as natural gas.
With major energy producers publicly turning to natural gas as their fuel of choice, the message is clear – as the cleanest of all fossil fuels, natural gas can provide the nation and its consumers with a proven, reliable, low-carbon source of energy.
Equally important is ensuring that the most effective and efficient application of natural gas – its direct use in the home for space heating, heating water, cooking, and other end-use applications – is encouraged and supported. Direct use of natural gas is by far the most efficient, cost effective and green choice when compared to converting gas to electricity to power the same end-use applications.
The best way to address climate change and support the renewable market, while still providing America with the reliable energy it needs to grow its economy, is with a wide-ranging set of options that includes natural gas and all of America’s other energy resources.