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Energy Tomorrow Blog

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 – An Electric Win

natural gas  electricity  affordable energy  carbon emissions  economic benefits 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 29, 2016

Politicians like to have visions – often broad aspirational statements that are mostly detached from any number of realities. We’re not opposed to visions per se, yet it’s good to remember a maxim that’s popular in the military: A vision without resources is a hallucination. So here’s our vision, outlined by API President and CEO Jack Gerard earlier this month:

“Energy is fundamental to our society … In this New Year let us all resolve to work together toward a shared vision of a world where everyone – without regard to zip code, state, nation, continent or hemisphere – has access to reliable, safe and affordable energy.”

This is no aspiration detached from reality. We know how to get the needed resources to actualize this vision – a market-driven, consumer-focused approach to energy policy that boosts our nation’s economy, helps the environment and benefits energy users here and around the world. 

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A Look at Our Energy Tomorrow

exxonmobil  energy  natural gas  renewable fuel  hydraulic fracturing  emissions  climate change 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 25, 2016

A couple of the big-picture projections in ExxonMobil’s annual global energy outlook: The world’s energy needs will grow 25 percent between now until 2040, with oil, natural gas and coal continuing to meet 80 percent of that demand.

Now, read what the energy company says about the future of natural gas:

The biggest expected growth will be in natural gas, which provides a practical energy solution for many applications while also providing a significant cost advantage versus other options to help reduce climate change risks.

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Squandering Public Resources, Squandering Our Energy Opportunity

oil and natural gas production  us energy security  federal leases  president obama  economic growth  emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 15, 2016

Federal officials followed President Obama’s State of the Union pledge to change Washington’s management of fossil fuel resources by announcing the government will stop issuing new coal leases on federal lands. The president’s keep-it-in-the-ground energy strategy, first voiced when he rejected the Keystone XL pipeline last fall, continues unfolding.

Unfortunately, the president doesn’t seem aware that his administration could blow a generational opportunity for America, one that’s being provided by the ongoing revolution in domestic oil and natural gas production. That he doesn’t see it helps explain the disconnect in his connecting of these thoughts during the State of the Union:

“… we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60 percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth. Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad, either. Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources.”

Respectfully, Mr. President, falling oil imports, reduced U.S. carbon emissions and $2 gasoline are reasons to sustain and grow America’s energy revolution – not reasons to kneecap it.

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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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