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Energy Tomorrow Blog

U.S. CO2 Intensity Trending Lower, Thanks to Natural Gas

emission reductions  carbon dioxide  natural gas  electricity 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 21, 2019

Some important data points from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the country’s emissions of carbon dioxide, a critically important greenhouse gas and a key to U.S. progress on climate goals:

First, as we noted in this recent post, EIA projects U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions this year will go down from the previous year. Broader context: Our nation’s CO2 emissions haven’t been this low since 1987Second, EIA says the overall carbon intensity of the U.S. economy – the amount of carbon dioxide that is emitted per unit of energy consumed – declined in 2018.

This is especially important in electricity generation, a major source of emissions. EIA says that switching fuels for generation, from coal to natural gas, has played an important role in reducing U.S. carbon intensity.

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Natural Gas Exports Ban Makes Little Sense for Environment

natural gas  lng exports  carbon dioxide emissions  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 1, 2019

The U.S. as a global leader in natural gas exports is underlined by a new government report showing that through the first six months of this year, U.S. net natural gas exports averaged 4.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) – more than doubling 2018’s average net exports. This follows analysis that the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis for the first time in 60 years in 2017.

These figures are significant for a number of reasons:

First, they attest to the strength of domestic natural gas production, which continues to set records – largely thanks to shale production enabled by safe hydraulic fracturing. … Second, expanding markets for U.S. natural gas helps support more domestic production – which means jobs, investments and other economic growth.

Third, growing exports of clean natural gas means other nations may realize the environmental benefits from increased use of natural gas.

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U.S. LNG and Cleaner, Healthier Lives Across the Globe

natural gas benefits  emission reductions  carbon dioxide  methane  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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. ...

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. 

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Right Under Our Feet

natural gas  electricity  emission reductions  carbon dioxide 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 25, 2019

Ten years ago this month the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill died in Congress, and many still argue for a legislative solution to the challenge of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Happily for the United States, there’s a solution right under our feet – one that has led the way on emissions reductions, eclipsing what supporters of Waxman-Markey projected for their proposal, while fueling American economic growth and a range of consumer benefits.

It’s natural gas. Together with advanced technologies, many of them innovated by our industry, abundant natural gas has been the agent for progress on multiple fronts.  


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The Big Picture on Reducing CO2 Emissions

emission reductions  carbon dioxide  natural gas  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 11, 2019

Before getting into a new report showing an uptick in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions last year, let’s make sure we keep an eye on the big picture as it concerns U.S. CO2. These points: U.S. CO2 emissions have fallen to their lowest level in a generation – even as global emissions have risen 50 percent since 1990. The leading reason for this favorable trendline is increased use of natural gas in power generation. Nine times this century the U.S. has reduced annual emissions more than any other nation, with clean natural gas playing a key role. As natural gas use in power generation increased, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions decreased 8 percent between 2010 and 2017.

Now, into that context comes a preliminary estimate from the Rhodium Group that final 2018 data will show CO2 increased 3.4 percent last year. The estimate is consistent with a forecast in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. EIA said the emissions increase reflects 2018’s colder winter (heating) and warmer summer (electricity for cooling).

Significantly, both EIA and Rhodium expect declining CO2 emissions will resume this year.


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Natural Gas and 'Clean Energy Week'

natural gas  emission reductions  the-environmental-partnership  carbon dioxide  methane 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 26, 2018

It’s Clean Energy Week, which API is proud to sponsor. Thus, a new commitment by an oil and natural gas industry group – the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – to reduce methane emissions is  well-timed indeed. Three big points from OGCI’s announcement and Clean Energy Week: 1) Clean natural gas is integral to climate progress; 2) Industry is leading in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; 3) Climate action isn't exclusive to government regulation or special-interest agendas.


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Maintaining Perspective on Electric Vehicles

electric vehicles  emission reductions  natural gas  carbon dioxide 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 11, 2018

To mark National Drive Electric Week, as well as discussions of electric vehicles (EVs) likely at this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, let’s underscore some important perspective on EVs contained in this recent piece by Axios.

Amy Harder’s column compares the carbon dioxide emissions saved by each Tesla EV to the CO2 savings of other sources of energy, including natural gas. Noting Tesla’s July announcement that it had passed the 200,000 mark for vehicles sold in the U.S., Harder – assisted by think tank Third Way – wrote that a nuclear reactor replacing coal equals the CO2 savings of 541,353 Teslas. Natural gas replacing one coal plant equals the CO2 savings of 98,940 Teslas, and so on.

Harder’s piece isn’t a knock against Tesla, just one EV manufacturer, or EVs in general. Rather, it suggests that a national discussion of EVs should be fact-based, and that we might need to tap the brakes a bit on EV technology’s emissions impacts. 

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Natural Gas and Leading the World in Reducing CO2

natural gas benefits  emission reductions  carbon dioxide  electricity 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 18, 2018

There’s talk about reducing greenhouse gas emissions – and then there’s taking steps to produce measurable results. The United States is in the second category, with the natural gas and oil industry playing the leading role.

Two charts from the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark J. Perry help illustrate: First, using data gleaned from BP’s Statistical Review of Global Energy, Perry shows that the U.S. led the world in reducing carbon dioxide emissions in 2017.


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The Good News on (Lowering) Emissions

emission reductions  methane  carbon dioxide  the-environmental-partnership 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 9, 2018

There’s good and not-so-good in a recent Washington Post editorial on natural gas and climate policy, which rightly nails the importance of natural gas to the U.S. economy and the environment, yet wrongly suggests more layers of government regulation are needed to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


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C’Mon, New York, Embrace the Energy Renaissance

100-days  carbon dioxide emissions  Economy  Environment  hydraullic fracturing  Marcellus Shale 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 20, 2017

Natural gas is a winner – for U.S. consumers, the economy and the environment. Quick, somebody tell officials in New York state – where they continue to ban hydraulic fracturing, the key to unlocking vast natural gas reserves located right under New Yorkers’ feet, to the benefit of New York consumers, New York job-seekers and New York’s environment.

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