Supreme Court Reinstates Access to Natural Gas

News Release April 06, 2022

Washington, D.C.The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision today that reinstates EPA’s 2020 rule under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act pending appeal, preventing states from abusing this law to block projects for reasons other than water quality, including natural gas pipelines needed to provide safe, affordable and reliable service to millions of Americans. The American Gas Association (AGA) supports this regulation because it protects water quality and allows families and businesses access to essential energy. 

“Denying the essential energy provided by natural gas pipelines is hurting businesses and families,” said Karen Harbert, AGA President and CEO. “This decision by the highest court in the land will put the brakes on the practice by some states of misusing Section 401 - putting political ideology and the goal of blocking natural gas pipelines over the important task of protecting our nation’s water quality. 

“Restricting access to natural gas is not a plan,” Harbert continued. “It just forces customers to use more expensive, less reliable and more environmentally harmful fuels. We have a plan that can achieve our ambitious climate goals through smart innovation, new and modernized infrastructure, and advanced technologies that maintain reliable, resilient, and affordable energy service choices for consumers,” Harbert said. 

AGA has released a bold vision for the future along with a seminal analysis detailing how America’s natural gas, natural gas utilities and delivery infrastructure will be essential to meeting our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, including achieving net-zero emissions. 

Natural gas is 3.4 times more affordable than electricity while carbon dioxide emissions from residences using natural gas for space heating, water heating, cooking and clothes drying are about 22 percent lower than those attributable to an all-electric home.

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 76 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 73 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than thirty percent of the United States' energy needs.