Natural gas provides environmental benefits: increased use gas can help address several environmental concerns simultaneously, including smog, acid rain and greenhouse gas emissions.
Natural Gas Has Made the U.S. an Environmental Leader
Natural gas is an important tool in the suite of greenhouse gas emissions reduction options available to the United States. Natural gas will continue to benefit our nation as states move to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions created in electric power generation.
An Emissions Solution in Your Home
Greater direct use of natural gas for heating and cooling, water heating, cooking and clothes drying can cut carbon emissions nearly in half. That is because natural gas appliances and the network that delivers the energy to your home is extraordinarily efficient.
Electric system losses account for half the energy consumed in the U.S. residential sector. When you factor in energy use and emissions along the full fuel cycle, households with natural gas versus all-electric appliances produce 37 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Further, it's best to use natural gas directly, instead of converting it to electricity first. When natural gas is used directly, then from the place where it is extracted from the ground, to appliances in your home, natural gas achieves 92 percent energy efficiency.
An Emissions Solution in Your City
Natural gas is the cleanest alternative transportation fuel available. Compared with diesel and gasoline, natural gas can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 30 percent. The exhaust emissions of natural gas vehicles, when compared to those of gasoline and diesel vehicles, offer reductions of common urban pollutants:
- Carbon monoxide (CO): 70 to 90% reduction
- Nitrogen oxides (NOx): 75 to 95% reduction
- Non-methane organic gas (NMOG): 50 to 75% reduction
- Carbon dioxide (CO2): 20 to 30% reduction
The Industry's Commitment to Reducing Emissions
Forty-five AGA member companies representing 69 percent of the natural gas customers served in the United States have joined the EPA's Methane Challenge Program. The program enables energy companies to make and track commitments to reduce emissions and showcase their efforts to improve air quality.