We commend Senators Kerry and Lieberman for their willingness to work with all sectors of the economy in their attempt to craft comprehensive climate legislation
Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA) today commended the efforts of Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on behalf of the “American Power Act” (APA), a comprehensive climate change bill, but noted that there is still more work that needs to be done to recognize the importance of natural gas in any climate change legislation.
“We commend Senators Kerry and Lieberman for their willingness to work with all sectors of the economy in their attempt to craft comprehensive climate legislation,” said David N. Parker, president and CEO of the American Gas Association. “While we are encouraged that natural gas utilities, which deliver natural gas to 170 million Americans, are treated more equitably than in previous climate bills, we remain hopeful that the Senate will more fully recognize that natural gas customers represent the only sector of the population that has reduced carbon emissions by 40 percent over the last 40 years. As such, any climate legislation should continue to promote what works best. Congress could help even more American homes and businesses reduce their carbon footprint by including language in the bill that would accurately measure energy efficiency from the point of origin to the end-use application.”
While the APA appears to meet certain criteria important to natural gas utilities – proportional allowance allocation and recognition that mandating that one-third of those allowances be spent on energy efficiency programs is not achievable – it does not meet other threshold criteria that AGA would like to see in any climate legislation. Such criteria would include end-use natural gas related research and development and carbon labeling for appliances. Without mandatory, accurate and consistent carbon footprint labeling, most consumers won’t recognize the differing carbon footprints of the various kinds of energy-consuming equipment. Such labeling should certainly be included in any proposed climate change legislation.
“Natural gas provides the bulk of the energy consumed by homes and businesses for heat, hot water and cooking,” Parker said. “And breakthrough technologies will be required to meet proposed carbon-reduction mandates for homeowners and business owners, meaning government-sponsored research and development will be critical. Not addressing this need is tantamount to ignoring the role natural gas can and should play to ensure carbon reductions that can actually help to meet the goal of a reduced carbon economy.”