Can you describe the benefits of natural gas in just two words? How about comfortable and responsible? Most of us would easily associate the word comfortable with natural gas. After all, more than 64 million American households and more than 5 million businesses have chosen natural gas to warm their homes or businesses, heat their water, cook their food or dry their clothes. They do this because natural gas offers them both physical comfort and the peace-of-mind comfort that comes with the safe and reliable delivery of this convenient source of energy.
But what about responsible? How does the word responsible describe the benefits of natural gas? Let’s talk a minute about how natural gas is the responsible energy choice when it comes to our environment and our nation’s energy security.
First, natural gas is clean. It is the cleanest of all fossil fuels, emitting 40% less carbon dioxide than coal, 30% less carbon dioxide than oil and 15% less carbon dioxide than propane. Using more of our product to displace other fossil fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions. But that’s not all. When we use natural gas directly in our furnaces, water heaters, ranges or dryers, we emit even fewer greenhouse gases than if we used appliances operated by electricity generated from coal, oil or even natural gas.
How can this be? How can generating electricity with natural gas be any less clean or efficient than using natural gas directly in our homes or businesses? Energy efficiency is the key. Did you know that the delivery of natural gas through underground pipelines to homes and businesses is far more efficient than the process of converting natural gas – or any other fossil fuel energy – to electricity and then transporting that electricity over wires to those same homes or businesses? In fact, the process of producing and delivering natural gas directly to the consumer is 90% efficient. By contrast, the process of converting natural gas or any other fossil fuel to electricity and transporting that electricity to consumers is only about 30% efficient.
Finally, natural gas is an abundant domestic energy resource. With proactive governmental policies that support access to new sources of supply and infrastructure development, we can meet our nation’s growing appetite for energy with this clean burning fuel and reduce our reliance on foreign imports. This will help us enhance and protect our national energy security.
So, natural gas is good for energy consumers, our environment and our national energy security interests. It truly is the comfortable and responsible energy choice.