U.S. Natural Gas Propels the World’s Energy Progress
Posted December 4, 2020
Americans benefit daily from homegrown natural gas, an increasingly essential component of the global energy mix and an affordable, efficient resource available to meet our nation’s long-term energy needs.
Nearly two-thirds of America’s energy consumption is made possible by natural gas and oil, and natural gas remains the leading fuel for U.S. power generation, accounting for about 38% of the nation’s electricity in 2019.
Remarkably, the economic competitiveness of natural gas has endured throughout 2020. Such durability has positioned the fuel to balance the challenges of economic recovery with the necessity of climate progress.
The appeal is widespread: Utility and non-utility generators, manufacturers, small businesses and families alike rely on natural gas for the energy needed to power modern life and support a lower-carbon economy.
Specifically, natural gas emits one-half the carbon compared to coal, so the trend toward coal-to-natural gas switching in power generation has been instrumental in driving energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in a generation.
But natural gas doesn’t just help us here at home. America’s growing capacity to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) allows us to share this low-cost, lower-carbon resource with our trading partners in Europe, Asia and around the world.
For example, API’s recent lifecycle analysis of U.S. LNG exports to China, Germany and India shows, on average, U.S. LNG produces 50.5 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal in all base case scenarios for electricity generation.
With record-setting natural gas production and LNG export growth, the U.S. doesn’t have to choose between economic recovery, energy security and environmental protection – we can have it all.
American energy is leading the world, and natural gas is fueling our progress.
About The Author
Mike Sommers is the 15th chief executive of API since its founding more than a century ago. Prior to coming to API, Mike led the American Investment Council, a trade association representing many of the nation’s leading private equity and growth capital firms and other business partners. He spent two decades in critical staff leadership positions in the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House, including chief of staff for then-House Speaker John Boehner. Mike is a native of Naperville, Illinois, and a graduate of the honors program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Mike and Jill Sommers, a former commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, have three children and live in Alexandria, Virginia.