Chris Hogan Kerry-Boxer: Worth The Wait?

Recently Dave Parker participated in the National Journal’s Energy and Environment Experts blog to respond to their question, “Kerry-Boxer: Worth The Wait?” Please take a moment to read his response posted below and visit the National Journal Energy Experts blog to view the comments from others in this respected group.

In the findings section of S. 1733, Senators Kerry and Boxer state that “Creating a clean energy future requires a comprehensive approach that includes support for the improvement of all energy sources.” We could not be in stronger agreement. There simply is no silver bullet or one-size panacea to the dilemma before the nation and this Congress, and Senators Kerry and Boxer are to be applauded for recognizing this at the outset.

Just as America is a diverse nation with varying energy needs, demands, infrastructure and resources, any effective legislation that addresses climate change and its many challenges must be diverse and flexible in its approach.

Natural gas currently meets 25 percent of America’s energy demands and is abundant and available now to meet our energy needs. It has also been leading the drive toward energy efficiency and conservation for more than 40 years, because while the number of natural gas customers has increased, actual gas use and greenhouse gas emissions have remained essentially flat.

Natural gas is already the cleanest fossil fuel—it contains just one carbon atom—and combined with new, highly efficient natural gas technologies, natural gas used directly in America’s homes and businesses is the easiest and fastest way to achieve a low- or zero-carbon option. Natural gas should be used as a primary tool to improve environmental quality and improve energy efficiencies in a host of applications.

To that end, AGA proposes a programmatic approach to reducing emissions – one that is focused on appliance efficiency standards, building codes, and utility-supported conservation/efficiency programs –a proven track record for residential and commercial natural gas customers.

Such an approach is only directed at those factors over which natural gas utilities and their customers have some control. AGA asks that Congress recognize natural gas and its many attributes for what they are and support a programmatic approach rather than imposing the higher costs and greater uncertainties that would result from a cap-and-trade approach that attempts to force fit us all into a one-size fits all that really fits few.

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