AGA Calls White House Electrification Summit “A Narrow Approach to our Nation’s Climate Challenge”
Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA) is calling the White House Electrification Summit planned for Wednesday, December 14 “a narrow approach to our nation’s climate challenge.”
“The American Gas Association supports the goal of lower emissions but taking away the essential energy provided by natural gas and the appliances that people love is not the way to do it,” said AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert. “Natural gas is popular – a new customer signs up for natural gas service every minute in the U.S. Natural gas is affordable and will continue to be. Eliminating natural gas in homes and buildings is an inefficient and costly way to shift how natural gas is used in our energy system.”
AGA is surprised to see this move from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) when their published data shows that natural gas is the most affordable energy source for residential consumers. Similarly, electrification closes the door on high-efficiency and resilient applications like natural gas combined heat and power, which DOE recognizes as providing efficient, clean, reliable, and affordable energy.
Harbert argued for an inclusive approach saying, “Eliminating options is a narrow approach to our nation’s climate challenge. The most practical, realistic way to achieve a sustainable future where energy is clean, as well as safe, reliable and affordable is to develop a plan that includes natural gas and the infrastructure that transports it. We have outlined the ways to do it in a study “Net-Zero Emissions Opportunities for Gas Utilities,” that presents a national-level approach that leverages the unique advantages of gas technologies and distribution infrastructure.”
The American Gas Association is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through smart innovation, new and modernized infrastructure, and advanced technologies that maintain reliable, resilient and affordable energy service choices for consumers.
AGA strongly disagreed with the proposed rule by DOE on December 7 to electrify new or newly renovated federal buildings calling it, “impractical, unscientific and expensive.”
“Eliminating natural gas in federal buildings is an impractical, unscientific and expensive idea that will have no environmental benefit. In reality, the demand for electricity fueled by natural gas will only increase and the costs will be borne by every taxpayer. Today, 187 million Americans use natural gas in their homes every day, more people than voted in the last election. According to the Department of Energy, natural gas is 3.4 times more affordable than electricity to heat buildings, including federal offices, and significantly more affordable than several other energy sources for the same amount of energy delivered. The American Gas Association (AGA) supports the goal of lower emissions and is investing every day to continue to decarbonize our systems. AGA will thoroughly evaluate the proposal and vigorously participate in the public comment process,” Harbert said.
- One new residential customer signs up for natural gas service every minute and approximately 60 businesses begin new natural gas service every day.
- Households that use natural gas for heating, cooking and clothes drying save an average of $1,041 per year compared to homes using electricity for those applications.
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that natural gas will be 1/2 – 1/3 the price of other fuels through 2050.
- Carbon dioxide emissions from residences using natural gas for space heating, water heating, cooking and clothes drying are about 22% lower than those attributable to an all-electric home.
- Removal of efficient direct-use applications will shift gas use to the electric generation sector, which can be more costly and less efficient, and results in higher greenhouse gas emissions.
For more natural gas facts, go to playbook.aga.org