Energy Tomorrow Blog
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted March 31, 2017
New government data shows that carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation are at their lowest levels in nearly 30 years, and natural gas is the key reason why. The data comes from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest Monthly Energy Review, and it shows emissions associated with power generation last year were the lowest since 1989.
Posted February 16, 2017
There’s a lot of good news to be found in EPA’s draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2015, which came out this week – all of it underscoring progress, much of it led by industry, in reducing emissions – even as American consumers and the U.S. economy are supplied the energy they need.
Posted December 9, 2016
The concept that economic growth doesn’t have to be accompanied by rising carbon emissions – dubbed “decoupling” by the New York Times – has additional detail in a new Brookings Institution report that finds more than 30 states have seen those historical partners delinked and headed in different directions. Though Brookings credits state and local efforts for the majority of this emissions reduction progress between 2000 and 2014, cleaner-burning natural gas is the real hero.
Posted November 28, 2016
There is indeed critically important climate progress being made in the United States, thanks to an energy transition – though perhaps not precisely the one EPA’s Gina McCarthy had in mind. It’s natural gas – the increased use of which is the primary reason the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects U.S. energy-related carbon emissions this year will be the lowest since 1992.