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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Addressing the Risks of Climate Change

climate change  natural gas  renewables  electricity  co2 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted June 27, 2019

As we head into the second night of debate among contenders for the Democratic nomination, and another opportunity to hear how the candidates plan to address the risks of climate change, let’s take a moment to remember that the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is already developing energy solutions to help address the issue while ensuring that American families have access to the reliable and affordable energy they depend on.

No discussion about the need to reduce carbon emissions is complete without acknowledging the key role that natural gas has played and will continue to play going forward. America is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions largely because of clean natural gas. 

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The Real Story on Reduced Emissions – Natural Gas

emission reductions  co2  natural gas  president obama  environmental impact 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 10, 2017

President Obama has a piece in Science magazine, that notes the “decoupling” of U.S. economic growth and energy-associated carbon emissions in recent years and largely attributes this new trend of growth and falling emissions to increased use of cleaner-burning domestic natural gas. … On this the president is singing our song (see here and here) – and he’s certainly welcome to do so.

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Natural Gas and Market-Driven Emissions Progress

natural gas benefits  co2 emissions  emission reductions  us energy security  economic benefits  renewable energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 4, 2016

Just recently saw this article on National Geographic.com, suggesting the United States made a significant shift in its energy economy in 2015:

Consider what happened last year alone. The amount of electricity from coal-fired power plants hit a record low while that from natural gas generators hit a record high. Also, renewable energy added the most new power to the electric grid, and annual carbon emissions reached a 20-year low.

First, a reminder that new power capacity added to the grid doesn’t translate directly to new power. Below, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that in terms of electricity generation change (from 2014 to 2015) at utility-scale facilities and including distributed solar, natural gas led in net generation:  

That’s not knocking renewables, just an illustration of today’s energy reality and a reminder of the oft-overlooked energy, economic and climate benefits accruing to the United States from increasing natural gas use.

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America's Progress in Reducing Emissions

co2 emissions  natural gas  us energy  epa 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 12, 2016

What if we had a market-based approach for reducing carbon dioxide emissions – gifted to the United States because of its unique combination of abundant energy resources, technological advances and know-how – that not only would yield CO2 reductions at world-leading levels but also would strengthen our economy and security? And all at potentially less cost than the mandates under the CPP?

OK, it wasn’t an altogether serious question, because that approach and the progress it has generated actually exist. Progress on emissions and energy has come from America’s ongoing energy revolution, a renaissance fueled by vast shale reserves and driven by safe hydraulic fracturing and advanced horizontal drilling.

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EPA Should Recognize Market-Driven Climate Progress

natural gas  epa  regulation  co2 emissions  methane emissions  climate 

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted January 13, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pledges to start 2016 “hitting the ground running” to build on a “monumental” 2015. In a blog post last week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signaled her agency will continue its focus on methane and carbon regulations.

Absent from EPA’s plans was any acknowledgement that methane and carbon emissions are already down. Recognizing progress we’ve already made – and the market factors contributing to that success – is critical to avoiding costly, duplicative regulations that could undermine that progress, as well as economic growth.

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America’s Climate and Energy Success Story

oil and natural gas development  energy growth  climate  greenhouse gas emissions  co2  methane  electricity 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 1, 2015

This week’s climate summit in Paris will be filled with talk of ways to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s an important discussion for sure, but it’s one that should focus on achievable, real-world initiatives. A couple of starting points for an action agenda:  

The first is an acknowledgement – that the availability of safe, reliable energy is fundamental to lifting people – and entire nations – from poverty.  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called energy the “the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability.” With the International Energy Agency telling us that more than a billion people around the world don’t have electricity, it would be a mistake for the Paris summit to do anything that impedes or blocks access to energy. The world needs more energy, not less.

The second point a realization by the summiteers that private markets, not command-and-control government interventions, offer the best avenue to advance climate objectives while growing energy supplies – progress without hamstringing economies and hindering individual opportunity.

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A High-Energy Thanksgiving

affordable energy  american energy security  co2 emissions  consumer products  oil and natural gas production  economic benefits  gasoline prices  energy exports 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving is about taking a moment to give thanks for our good fortune. A festival of gratitude with food, family and friends – maybe with a little football thrown in.  So here's a list of some of the things that we’re thankful for this holiday season, from A to Z.

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Paris, the RFS and Real Progress on Emissions

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  co2 emissions  climate  natural gas 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 13, 2015

Ethanol producers want Secretary of State John Kerry to trumpet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) at the big Paris climate conference later this month. Big Ethanol says the U.S. should highlight the RFS in Paris, not hide it – referring to the fact the RFS is missing from the Obama administration’s “intended nationally determined contribution” document that outlines what the U.S. would do under the next international climate agreement.

Maybe the reason for the omission is the number of studies showing that climate and environment are worse off because of the RFS.

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Embracing Energy – For Jobs, Cleaner Air, Lower Costs

analysis  technology  investments  climate  greenhouse gas emissions  co2  methane  ozone  Jack Gerard  american petroleum institute 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 22, 2015

Today, API released a new report on investments in greenhouse gas-mitigating measures that illustrates the oil and natural gas industry’s leadership in innovating the technologies and efficiencies to keep improving air quality. We conclude a series of posts on the intersection of energy development and climate/environmental goals (here, here and here) with a look at the new report.

Key numbers from T2 and Associates’ new report on investments in mitigating greenhouse gases (GHG) by industry include $90 billion in zero and low-carbon emitting technologies from 2000 through 2014.

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Another Strike Against the RFS

analysis  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  biofuels  ethanol  co2 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 19, 2015

There’s more scholarly research challenging the oft-heard claim that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its requirements for increasing use of biofuels is good for the environment and climate.

The claimed environmental benefits of the RFS have been questioned before by organizations including the Environmental Working Group and ActionAid, as well as University of Minnesota researchers.

Now a paper published this month by University of Michigan Energy Institute researchers argues that the government-sponsored model used to calculate biofuels’ carbon footprint is flawed. The paper says a more accurate accounting method shows that corn ethanol doesn’t have an edge over petroleum gasoline when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions.

Research by the institute’s John DeCicco and Rashmi Krishnan (sponsored by API) found that assumed biofuel carbon neutrality that’s built into the government-sponsored model “does not hold up for real-world biofuel production.”

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