Natural Gas Offers Significant Opportunities to Address Global Climate Change, Study Says
Washington, D.C. – American Gas Association (AGA) President and CEO Dave McCurdy today praised a new report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) which concludes that the expanded use of natural gas offers significant opportunities to help address global climate change and help grow the economy. Leveraging Natural Gas to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions explores the climate benefits of expanding the use of natural gas value across the economy. McCurdy joined C2ES President Eileen Claussen and Dominion Resources CEO Tom Farrell at an event this morning to launch the report.
“This exciting new analysis from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions further bolsters the case for natural gas as a foundation fuel for a clean energy future,” said McCurdy. “Working alongside renewables and energy efficiency, our domestic abundance of natural gas provides an incredible opportunity to deliver the essential energy that will help drive economic growth while protecting the environment.”
The report points to the efficient use of natural gas for space and water heating as offering opportunities for substantial near-term, low-cost carbon emissions reductions. America’s natural gas delivery system is extraordinarily efficient with 92 percent of the natural gas produced at the wellhead being delivered to customers as usable energy. With high-efficiency appliances and equipment, the natural gas value chain offers a well-tested and cost-effective tool to reduce emissions. A household with natural gas for space heating, water heating, cooking and clothes drying on average spends almost 30 percent less than a household with all-electric appliances, and leads to 37 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The report also echoes AGA’s commitment to better understand and more accurately measure the methane emissions from natural gas systems. While methane emissions from the natural gas delivery system have been reduced 16 percent since 1990 according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 Greenhouse Gas Inventory released in April, America’s natural gas utilities are committed to lowering them even further. AGA and several of its members are joining the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to sponsor a nationwide field study to better understand methane emissions associated with the distribution and delivery of natural gas.
Advanced technologies using natural gas, such as microgrids, distributed generation and combined heat and power, are also recognized in the report as has having considerable potential to reduce emissions in both the buildings and manufacturing sectors. By using less overall energy than separate heat and power generation, CHP systems can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution while providing customers an affordable, resilient energy solution.
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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.