President, American Gas Association
Biography provided by participant
What can President Obama do to address America’s concerns about climate change and energy policy?
The short answer is that, whether we are talking about creating jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, being more energy efficient or increasing our energy independence, natural gas is a natural fit. With this in mind, President Obama should consider several specific steps:
First, ensure continued access to our vast domestic natural gas resource base, especially the abundant shale gas that we are now producing.
Continued, steady production from these shale plays is a key component, not only in creating new jobs – often in areas of the country where jobs are desperately needed – but also in helping to foster greater price stability, which will help ensure a cost-effective means to meet the growing energy needs of our economy. Increasing our efforts to maximize the many benefits of natural gas will also help to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Second, the president should make clear that natural gas must be a centra
Here in Washington, D.C., we have been hearing a lot about congressional Democrats and Republicans “working together” recently – as evidenced by passage of the recent bipartisan tax extension legislation.
After taking stock of its bruising midterm election losses, Democrats insisted that it is possible to find some common ground with newly ascendant congressional Republicans. Meanwhile, those very same Republicans, mindful of appearing too partisan, have said the very same thing – there is some common ground; we just need to work on it.
As the president recently noted, natural gas is clearly one of those non-partisan, common ground issues on which both Democrats and Republicans should be able to come together. Indeed, there are a number of steps the administration and Congress can take to act on this critical issue. First, ensure continued access to our vast domestic natural gas resource base, especially the abundant shale gas that we are now producing. Continued, steady production from these shale plays is a key component not only in creat
America’s natural gas utilities agree with President Obama that natural gas represents an opportunity for common ground between Republicans and Democrats.
We have long argued that one of the best ways to grow American jobs, combat the effects of climate change and provide for the energy security of our country is to use the tools, technologies and resources already available. Natural gas is clearly one of those tools. It is abundant, affordable, domestic and the cleanest fossil fuel. It’s ready – right here, right now.
There are a number of steps the administration and Congress can take to move forward on this important issue, the first of which is to increase U.S. production of natural gas. Increased production is critical to America’s energy future; we need federal and state policies in place to permit environmentally responsible natural gas production and infrastructure development.
Natural gas should also be a central part of any energy policy that the 112th Congress considers. If Congress moves forward on a renewabl
The recent weather events making news across America and across the globe do indeed give us all reason to pause. Certainly there have been recent, unusual, and in some cases tragically destructive, weather patterns, but no unanimous consensus is possible as to whether the changes are to some degree a cyclical event or a total de-linkage from the past. Likewise there never will be consensus as to how much of the changing patterns are attributable to human activities. However, we as an industry—and as a country—need to thoughtfully plan for an energy-efficient, carbon-constrained and climate-focused future. Utilizing the premier fuel that is natural gas should be a cornerstone to any such energy plan.
AGA has long understood the importance of balancing the need to meet increasing energy demands with an awareness of our environmental stewardship. Our member utilities and their customers have long supported efforts that encourage conservation and efficiency and the responsible development of America’s abundant natural gas resources.
That said, the w
If the vote on Senator Murkowski’s resolution tells us anything, it is that the debate over how best to address the many facets of climate change is far from settled. With the growing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico front and center in most Americans’ minds, the desire for action on energy legislation seems to be growing.
Central to any solution, whether hailing from Congress or the EPA, is the need for a balanced policy that embraces smart, proven strategies that take advantage of domestic low-carbon energy options. For the past 40 years, America’s natural gas utilities and their customers have a proven track record of conservation, energy efficiency and carbon emission reductions.
While the number of residential households using natural gas increased from 38 million in 1970 to nearly 65 million today — an increase of more than 70 percent — overall residential consumption over that time has remained essentially flat. That is because residential natural gas users have cut their natural gas use, per household, by about 40 percent. This
The current debate about allowing EPA to regulate carbon emissions or encouraging Congress to act in its stead is a significant and heated one. However, we believe there are more effective and pragmatic ways of reducing carbon emissions than government mandates, regardless of which branch of government is issuing them. For example, using America’s most reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly fossil fuel, natural gas, and using it as efficiently as possible, can significantly reduce carbon emissions.
To that end, government policies that promote the increased use of natural gas are the most effective way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency. And because natural gas is domestically abundant—more than 97 percent of the natural gas we use comes from North America—it contributes to our energy security as well.
The fact is that, for four decades, natural gas residential and commercial customers have been leading the way in energy efficiency and carbon emission reductions. For example, the number of re
The tragic and still un-contained oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may well go down as one of the most significant environmental disasters of record. That being said, the fact remains that United States’ insatiable demand for energy is unchanged.
As a country, we still use an enormous amount of energy every day and that energy has to come from somewhere. Compounding the already contentious debate surrounding our dependence on foreign sources of energy, there is a good chance that this disaster may sour Americans on additional, let alone existing, domestic oil production. Whatever comes next should reflect a more disaggregated but strong domestic energy framework that takes advantage of our nation’s many alternative resources.
AGA has long supported, to the fullest extent possible, the development of a diverse domestic energy supply, including coal, oil, nuclear, wind, hydro, solar and, of course, natural gas. And while everyone is encouraged by the increased awareness being brought to renewables, the fact remains that all of the power produced by