Lauren Blosse The real natural gas message in a climate crunch

I thought you might be interested in the following letter to the editor Dave Parker submitted to The Hill regarding the coal-to-natural-gas conversation. 

Dear Editor:

Your recent article,Natural gas lobby steps up to challenge coal” (3/1/10), wrongly insinuated that a “fight” is brewing between natural gas and coal trade associations in Washington over impending climate legislation.

Rather, the natural gas industry has good news to share about the environmental benefits of natural gas and is rightly using any venue possible to spread this positive message.

Americans have indicated that they care deeply about reducing carbon in our atmosphere.  That’s why the American Gas Association (AGA), a trade association that represents 195 local energy companies that deliver natural gas throughout the United States, is working to educate lawmakers and consumers about the clean, efficient properties of natural gas.

AGA believes Americans have a right to know that natural gas emits 45 percent less carbon dioxide than coal and 30 percent less than heating oil.  Based on these numbers alone, it’s clear that natural gas can and should play a major role in reducing carbon emissions in the United States.  While these carbon reductions can best be achieved through direct use of natural gas in the home (i.e. heating and cooking), major carbon reductions can also be achieved from natural gas-fired power plants, as was mentioned in your article.

AGA is a proponent of fuel diversity in the United States.  Our country must rely on a mix of fuels if we are to achieve energy security and freedom from dependence on foreign oil.

As a clean-burning, domestically abundant, low carbon fuel, natural gas is “here and now” and is ready to help our country reach its energy goals.  In fact, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu visited AGA offices last month and clearly stated that natural gas is a necessary component of any truly renewable energy program.

Without engaging in “fights” or petty exchanges, AGA will continue to inform lawmakers about our industry’s good story and about the possibilities of natural gas in a new energy future.

Let me know if you think we’re on the mark in the comments below.

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