Energy Tomorrow Blog
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.
Posted October 7, 2016
Posted August 31, 2016
In recent months we’ve posted a number of times on the “U.S. Model” of domestic energy and economic growth – coupled with greenhouse gas reductions (see here, here and here). Let that sink in: The United States is simultaneously the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas and the world leader in reducing emissions. Energy growth and climate progress together. That’s the U.S. Model. It’s important to grasp the impacts of the U.S. model – and also how it came about.
Posted August 3, 2016
Some context for legal challenges to EPA’s final rule for new oil and natural gas sources, filed individually this week by a coalition of states, API and other organizations.
As we’ve noted before, methane emissions from field production of natural gas are falling – mainly because industry wants to capture as much of the primary component of natural gas as possible, to deliver to customers. Industry is on it, deploying technologies and know-how to prevent emissions during production. Bottom line: In a period of soaring production, we’ve had falling methane emissions.
This is happening under the current regulatory regime.
Posted April 19, 2016
Some important context before a discussion of a flawed emissions report from EPA, which follows below.
The United States is the world’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas – largely thanks to safe and responsible hydraulic fracturing and advanced horizontal drilling. Natural gas production reached a record high level of 79 billion cubic feet per day in 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (chart), while total U.S. energy output increased for the sixth consecutive year.
The increased natural gas production and use is critically important, as it is the key factor in reduced carbon emissions during a period of U.S. economic expansion – a break with historic precedent noted by the New York Times. Indeed, the United States is leading the world in carbon emissions reductions, largely thanks to its energy revolution.
Posted April 11, 2016
Two questions posed by the Times: How to explain a departure from the historical linkage between economic growth and increased carbon emissions? And, can the decoupling of economic growth and rising emissions be a model for the rest of the world?
The explanation isn’t all that complicated. We’ve talked about it for a number of months (see here and here). It’s natural gas. The increased use of clean-burning, domestically produced natural gas is the main reason the United States leading the world in reducing carbon emissions during a period of economic growth.
Posted March 30, 2016
Methane emissions have dropped significantly. Since 2005, emissions from field production of natural gas have dropped 38 percent, and emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have plunged 79 percent.
These facts bear repeating in light of the Obama administration’s announcement that it is pursuing yet another set of methane regulations. Not only are the additional regulations duplicative and unnecessary, given industry’s success in reducing emissions under current regulations, but the new rules could actually undermine progress.