Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 12, 2021
There’s a good deal of discussion in Washington about a national clean electricity standard, which would use government mandates to set targets for reducing carbon emissions from the power sector.
Such an approach is one way to go, but there’s another – one that already has achieved significant greenhouse gas emissions by using the power of the marketplace to effect change: U.S. natural gas.
The increased use of natural gas is the leading reason for reduced U.S. emissions in recent years, including carbon dioxide. At the same time, technologies and industry innovation have helped reduce methane emissions associated with natural gas and oil production, and new advances are on the horizon. This pathway leads to a lower-carbon future and the ability to meet growing world demand for energy.
John D. Siciliano
Posted April 30, 2021
No larger than the width of a human hair, advanced-technology carbon nanotubes have the potential to be a game-changer in efforts to meet the global climate challenge. From CO2 captured from natural gas and oil production, and other emitting sources, nanotubes may be the building blocks for the next generation of low-carbon materials and carbon-neutral technologies.
Nanotubes are an example of the kinds of technologies API’s new Climate Action Framework seeks to advance as a key element in reducing emissions while our industry meets the world’s growing demand for energy. …
Technologies can help reduce emissions resulting in meaningful climate progress. They can significantly shape the climate discussion and engagement with policymakers.
Posted March 25, 2021
API’s new Climate Action Framework is much more than a list of policies and actions to address the risks of climate change. It’s a values statement, the natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to lead on the twin necessities of cleaner energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
We can achieve both. The natural gas and oil industry details in this framework an action plan to get it done, working together with government and other stakeholders. As the plan states in its opening sentences, it’s the opportunity of our time.
Posted March 5, 2021
We don’t yet know the full extent of the Biden administration’s strategy for U.S. energy. As API President and CEO Mike Sommers has said repeatedly since the election, our industry is ready to work with the administration for a better economy, cleaner environment and progress toward climate goals. Based on remarks by former Secretary of State John Kerry at the CERAWeek conference, there’s important common ground for a cooperative relationship.
“I don’t object per se to fossil fuel," said the president's special envoy for climate. "I object to the byproduct of fossil fuel, which is the carbon. That’s the problem, and the methane, that's another major problem emerging. So, we have to be able to abate. It’s the debate between unabated and abated production.”
Common ground: The natural gas and oil industry also is for abating carbon emissions – and has been working to reduce carbon and capture methane, through innovation and technology, for some time.
Industry investment, innovation and problem-solving on emissions came up so often during CERAWeek, it was hard to track them all. If, as Kerry said, the administration sees carbon and methane emissions as the targets – and not the energy from natural gas and oil – industry not only is a willing partner, it’s one that’s tackling those challenges head on.
John D. Siciliano
Posted March 1, 2021
The COVID-19 relief and government spending bill passed by Congress in December, the Energy Act of 2020, included an important boost for carbon-capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technology – a must-have as an economy-wide way to address the risks of climate change. ...
The natural gas and oil industry, along with groups representing a broad range of industry sectors, have demonstrated continued and growing support for CCUS, and believe the Energy Act of 2020 lends critical support for key research and innovation to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.
Posted October 27, 2020
With a high-tech workforce and a future-focused approach, America’s natural gas and oil industry is delivering on its commitment to sustainability and climate solutions. Energy operators are continuously improving environmental performance and working to lower greenhouse gas emissions – and groundbreaking technologies are making the difference.
API member companies are driving research and development on innovative concepts, like carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), and industry leaders are collaborating to address emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds in America’s largest energy producing regions.
Since 2017, The Environmental Partnership has provided leadership on industry-driven efforts to tackle the dual challenges of supplying affordable, reliable energy while making significant environmental progress. The program encourages the phase out of high-bleed, gas-driven pneumatic controller use to mitigate methane emissions in natural gas production.
Posted July 6, 2020
Smart regulatory reforms from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) support responsible energy development and strengthen the economy, while protecting human health and the environment. EPA’S proposed Benefit-Cost Rule under the Clean Air Act certainly fits with that approach.
The proposal would improve the rulemaking process by clarifying the environmental, scientific and economic impacts of newly proposed rules for the public, the industry and all stakeholders.
Posted April 3, 2020
The natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to accelerate the reduction of methane emissions is being advanced on a number of fronts. The Environmental Partnership, whose 75 members include 33 of the top 40 U.S. producers of natural gas, is in its third year of sharing of knowledge and technologies to further reduce emissions. This week, the Texas Methane & Flaring Coalition, whose members represent nearly 80% of oil production in the state, was launched to work on flaring.
The coalition’s key initiatives include: developing best practices and opportunities to minimize methane emissions and flaring, improving accuracy and consistency in the reporting of vented and flared volumes and increasing public understanding of the safety and environmental reasons for flaring.
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.
Posted September 27, 2019
A pair of new, positive developments on the emissions/climate front. First, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will decline 2.5% this year. Second, a new Energy Department report on the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports confirms the environmental benefits of natural gas vs. coal – significant given expanding markets in Asia and Europe for U.S. LNG.
Both are very important. EIA’s CO2 projection, along with the projected 4.9% increase in natural gas consumed for power generation relative to 2018, underscores the point that increased use of natural gas in fueling power generation lowers CO2 emissions, and that the recent trend of the U.S. recording the lowest CO2 levels in a generation will continue.