U.S. LNG and Cleaner, Healthier Lives Across the Globe
Posted July 2, 2019
There’s very little that satisfies climate extremists – including practical solutions right at hand.
We live in a world where a huge chunk of the globe’s energy is supplied by burning coal, biofuels and waste. U.S. natural gas – exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG) – is an integral part of the world’s emissions solution, not the enemy some of these folks portray it to be.
You’ve heard the naysayers. Many were for natural gas until – thanks the shale energy revolution – the United States suddenly had plenty of it, enough so that the U.S. could be a natural gas exporter instead of an importer.
They run around the country and the world clamoring for lower carbon dioxide emissions – then dismiss the United States’ global leadership in reducing CO2, which is mostly due to increased use of clean natural gas and innovative technologies, many of them pioneered by our industry.
The clear aim is to undermine popular support for U.S. natural gas and oil abundance, because it gets in the way of the keep-it-in-the-ground agenda that would have the U.S. ignore energy abundance that strengthens our economy and makes us more secure in the world.
Now they’re after U.S. LNG exports, telling CNN Business that the “LNG boom” will negatively impact climate and suggesting that private investments in LNG export projects are a foolish bet on the future.
Let’s look at facts:
- Again, thanks mainly to increased use of natural gas, U.S. CO2 emissions are at their lowest levels in a generation. The U.S. is the world leader in reducing this greenhouse gas.
- Want to talk methane emissions from natural gas production? Look at the major shale natural gas plays across the country, and you’ll see reduced emissions relative to total production, the best way to look at those emissions. For example, in the Permian emissions relative to production were down 39 percent from 2011-2017 while production increased 100 percent due to advancing technologies that led to a smaller environmental footprint.
- U.S. methane emissions have been a small share of global methane emissions, 6.2 percent according to the World Bank.
- In a world where nearly 37 percent of the planet’s energy needs, are met by coal, biofuels and burning waste, according to the most recent data, U.S. LNG is part of the world’s emissions solution, not the problem.
- Though solar and wind energy is increasing, they accounted for less than 10 percent of America’s electricity generation in 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The growth of wind and solar, in fact, depends on reliable natural gas to provide fuel for power generation when wind and solar are unavailable.
U.S. LNG exports are delivering cleaner and reliable energy – produced with the best environmental standards – to every corner of the world. The International Energy Agency says that in producing electricity, natural gas reduces CO2 emissions globally by half when used in place of coal, which is a main alternative fuel in China, India and many other emerging markets.
Again, we don’t expect any of this matters to extremists who only see one avenue on climate, which is to cripple the U.S. economy and economies all over the world while relegating millions to lives without access to modern, available, scalable energy – which is natural gas and oil.
We can do better than the dark future advocated by opponents of natural gas and oil. And exporting some of America’s abundance is opportunity for others to live better, healthier lives. API President and CEO Mike Sommers said recently:
“This industry has done more to help the human condition than any industry in the history of time. Every day the natural gas and oil industry works to provide safe, affordable, reliable and increasingly sustainable fuel for the American people, and thanks to increasing U.S. exports, we are helping others around the world.”
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.