Recently Dave Parker participated in the National Journal’s Energy and Environment Experts blog to respond to their question, “House Hurdles: Which Will Be Hardest for Climate Bill?” Please take a moment to read his response posted below or visit the National Journal Energy Experts blog to view the comments from others in this respected group.
The American Gas Association (AGA) agrees that while the House Energy and Commerce Committee vote was an important first step in trying to pass climate change legislation, there are several significant obstacles to overcome before a bill will get to President Obama’s desk for signature. No matter how daunting the challenge, however, AGA is committed to working with Congress and the administration on this critical national issue.
We strongly believe that both natural gas utilities and their customers can and should contribute to improving the nation’s energy efficiency in order to meet the nation’s goals of optimizing our resources, maximizing our energy security, increasing conservation and reducing carbon emissions. In fact, if you look at our member’s track record when it comes to energy efficiency, you will find that the number of natural gas customers has increased more than 70% (38 million homes in 1970 to 65 million in 2005) since 1970, yet total residential natural gas consumption has remained about the same as it was in 1970. By insulating their windows and doors, by using energy-efficient appliances, and by conservation methods as simple as turning down the thermostat, natural gas residential and commercial customers have reduced their average natural gas consumption by about 1 percent annually since 1980-this rate of decline has accelerated to about 2 percent annually since 2000.
As the cleanest fossil fuel, emitting only one carbon atom when burned, natural gas can play a major part in significantly reducing carbon emissions. We look forward to working with Congress to craft sound policies that encourage the increased use of clean, abundant, domestic natural gas, which will improve our environment, enhance energy security and save American consumers money.