Real Clear Energy Editor Jude Clemente let loose the seemingly best kept secret in the energy industry in a recent article: domestic natural gas production in the U.S. is a key driver in emissions reductions.
Since 2008 the United States has undergone a strong and sustained resurgence in natural gas production. With increases of nearly 60% since 2008 the U.S. lead in natural gas production has grown to 25% above the second leading producer, Russia. Natural gas is expected to generate 40% of domestic power this year.
What is there to show for this second coming of natural gas? Exceptionally affordable (and reliable) energy for consumers including some of the lowest prices in two decades and a transition to a less carbon intensive fuel source. Natural gas emits 30% less carbon dioxide than oil and 50% less than coal thanks to production technology innovation.
Doubling down on natural gas production the U.S. can serve Americans with affordable energy and continue to lead the world in emissions reductions but with production continuing to increase an easy path forward to infrastructure development to bring the product to market is just as important as the product itself.
In April President Trump signed an executive order to “promote energy infrastructure and economic growth” that helped to lessen the redundancy in many of the permitting and review processes for infrastructure projects. Private companies should see that now is the time to invest and build the necessary wells, rigs, pipelines, and export terminals to fully realize the benefits of natural gas and domestic reserves in the Permian, Bakken, and Marcellus/Utica shale deposits.
Domestic natural gas production has put the United States in a leadership position for emissions reduction and energy production. Now is not the time to pump the brakes if energy security and emissions goals are to be achieved.