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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Natural Gas = a 'Yes' on Emissions Reductions

carbon emissions  emission reductions  natural gas  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  climate  vote4energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 9, 2016

With new government data showing that U.S. carbon emissions in 2015 were 12 percent below 2005 levels, it might be time for some to take “yes” for an answer – that yes, on reducing carbon emissions, the United States is showing the way for the rest of the world with abundant, clean-burning natural gas.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says despite the fact the U.S. economy was 15 percent larger in 2015 than it was in 2005 (inflation-adjusted numbers), energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were lower last year than they were 11 years ago. 

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Tillerson: Foundations for Continued Energy Progress

Economy  exxonmobil  exxon  emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 6, 2016

Energy for the betterment of all. Sounds simple enough, yet the foundational role energy plays in creating opportunity for better, healthier lives, security and freedom must not be taken for granted.

America’s energy revolution is driving economic growth. It’s benefiting individuals and families with reliable, lower-cost fuels. It’s building national security and strengthening the United States’ stature in the world. Our energy renaissance also is at the heart of lowering carbon emissions to near 20-year lows, which is letting the U.S. lead the word in CO2 emissions reductions. No, we mustn’t take that for granted.

ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex W. Tillerson touched on these points during a speech this week at the U.S. Energy Association’s annual meeting and policy forum, which honored him with its 2016 annual award. Tillerson underscored the need for policies and actions to sustain and grow the U.S. energy revolution, for creating broader access in the world to energy’s benefits and noted the energy sector’s leadership in advancing climate goals.

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Natural Gas: The Heart of Our Climate Progress

natural gas  carbon emissions  climate  economic benefits  shale energy  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 4, 2016

The progress the United States is making toward its climate goals starts with clean-burning natural gas.

Increased domestic natural gas production and its use is the primary reason the United States leads the world in reducing carbon emissions. It’s the keystone for a workable strategy to advance climate goals while sustaining economic growth and prosperity – the U.S. model. The U.S. Energy Department’s Christopher Smith, last week in Houston:

“A big part of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that we’ve been able to manage in the United States is due to the fact … we’ve got trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that we are going to be able to produce safely, and our domestic supply has gone from one of scarcity to one that has enabled us to use more natural gas in baseload power consumption.”

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Energy Progress vs. EPA's Politics

greenhouse gas emissions  methane  carbon dioxide emissions  hydraulic fracturing  oil and natural gas production 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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Natural Gas and the U.S. Model for ‘Decoupling’

natural gas benefits  emission reductions  economic growth  international energy agency  carbon dioxide emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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. 


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Methane Regulations Not Based on Science

methane emissions  oil and natural gas production  hydraulic fracturing  carbon dioxide  regulation 

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
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.

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America’s Fracking Energy Progress

hydraulic fracturing  fracking  oil and natural gas production  economic growth  carbon dioxide emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 29, 2016

A quick list of some of the benefits realized by the United States thanks to modern hydraulic fracturing and advanced horizontal drilling:

Surging oil and natural gas production

The United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas, resulting in lower oil imports and an opportunity for the U.S. to compete with other producers in the global market.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, oil production from safely fractured wells totaled more than 4.3 million barrels per day in 2015, about half of all U.S. oil output.

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Technology Moves U.S. Energy Ahead

carbon capture  carbon dioxide emissions  technology  innovation  exxonmobil 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 18, 2016

It doesn’t get enough notice: The U.S. energy renaissance is a revolution built on advanced technology and the ongoing quest to problem solve.

One of the best examples is hydraulic fracturing, the most important reason the United States leads the world in oil and natural gas production. Industry innovators took a process used for more than 60 years, modernized it and married it with it with advanced horizontal drilling to safely unleash previously inaccessible oil and natural gas reserves from shale and other tight-rock formations. It transformed America’s energy picture from one of scarcity and dependence to one of abundance and greater self-sufficiency.

The moral: When conventional wisdom says something can’t be done, just wait. Necessity, innovation and technology are marvelous at proving conventional wisdom shortsighted or wrong. On advancing new energy technologies to develop oil and gas more efficiently and in ways that are better for the environment, our industry isn’t standing still.


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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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