‘We’re On It’ – Industry Committed to Emissions Reductions
Posted September 10, 2019
With global demand for energy on the rise – expected to increase more than 25% by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) – the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is focused on delivering affordable and reliable energy to consumers, while simultaneously shrinking our environmental footprint.
Cleaner-burning natural gas is at the leading edge of climate progress, as the fuel has been largely responsible for reducing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in a generation. Combustion of natural gas emits one-half the carbon compared to coal and, as a result, switching from coal to natural gas in electricity generation has saved about 500 million tons of carbon dioxide since 2010, per IEA.
A big part of this is natural gas’ competitiveness in the marketplace. The abundant, low-cost fuel has driven emissions savings and helped domestic consumers meet their bottom lines, especially those with low- or fixed-incomes. Meanwhile, American liquified natural gas (LNG) exports are shifting the economics of power generation abroad.
It’s with consumer interest in mind that the industry is investing in innovative technologies and developing state-of-the-art approaches to natural gas production and distribution, which has placed downward pressure on energy costs and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide worldwide.
We’re proud of this growth, and we recognize there’s still more to be done.
By working together alongside scientists, small business owners, independent operators and manufacturers, the natural gas and oil industry is altering the modern energy equation – demonstrating that energy and climate progress can coexist.
For example, between 2011-2017, energy companies reduced methane emission rates by nearly 60% across four of America’s largest natural gas producing regions (Anadarko, Appalachian, Eagle Ford and Permian), even as output increased. This dual progress has come to define the U.S. energy revolution, and we’re committed to continued improvement on both the economic and environmental fronts.
Industry-led initiatives, like The Environmental Partnership, are fostering collaboration among natural gas and oil producers to responsibly develop our nation’s essential energy resources while optimizing our environmental performance. Collective action toward improved operations – and support for smart regulations that streamline compliance – is decreasing nationwide emissions of volatile organic compounds, along with methane.
Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest annual air quality report shows that the U.S. has seen a 74% reduction in emissions of six common pollutants tracked by the agency (carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, VOCs and particulate matter) between 1970-2018.
All of us have a stake in the successful and safe development of American natural gas and oil resources – from the millions of men and women who make up the industry, to the families and businesses that rely on fuels and petroleum products to power their everyday lives. Increased energy efficiency and better air quality are priorities as the industry works with stakeholders, regulators and consumers to meet today’s energy challenges with forward-thinking solutions.
Together, we’re on it.
Learn more about the industry’s natural gas solutions and emissions reductions efforts.
About The Author
Sam Winstel is a writer for the American Petroleum Institute. He comes to API from Edelman, where he supported communications marketing strategies for clients across the firm’s energy and federal government practices. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sam graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, and he currently resides in Washington, D.C.