Last week the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its 2019 natural gas annual, tabulating domestic production, consumption, and more. It is difficult to ignore that the country is weeks out from a presidential election and even more difficult to ignore the energy implications that are before voters.
Candidate Joe Biden has put forth an ambitious energy plan that eschews natural gas and pushes for significant taxpayer funded investment in renewable technologies. Similar positions ratified by Sacramento legislators have made the California electrical blackouts a bellwether for consequences of mixing in renewables to an energy grid too quickly.
Moreover, the Biden energy and anti-natural gas plan has swung far left of his former White House mate, President Barack Obama. In 2012 then President Obama stated: “Natural gas actually burns cleaner than some other fossil fuels. It’s an ideal energy source that we potentially could use for the next 100 years.” Sadly, this position earns an elected a swearing from environmentalists hysterically committed to renewables today, tomorrow, and forever.
The Energy Information Administration’s report this week supports Obama’s comments and we hope encourages Americans to remain optimistic about the country’s energy. Findings include:
- Both U.S. dry natural gas production and consumption rose to record highs in 2019.
- Deliveries of natural gas to consumers in 2019 were 28.3 Tcf, or 77.6 Bcf/d, an increase of 2.7% from 2018 deliveries. Four of five sectors (residential, commercial, industrial, and vehicle fuel) remained essentially flat from 2018, while electric power deliveries saw an increase to consumers in 2019.
- For the fourth consecutive year, the United States was a natural gas net exporter (exports minus imports) in 2019, exporting 1,915 Bcf (5.2 Bcf/d) more natural gas than it imported for the year. U.S. natural gas imports decreased for the second consecutive year.
To put it simply, the United States is upping its natural gas production and efficiently folding it into the energy grid. Consumer groups will undoubtedly follow-up with reports showing that this delivered consumer savings. It’s also reasonable to presume that natural gas consumption increases has offset more carbon-intensive energy resources, meaning environmental gains will be made. Additionally, the country is in a position to export our vast natural gas resources to others. Growing as an exporter will better natural security standards and off economic gains to Americans.
President Obama accurately characterized natural gas and its values in 2012. They are being realized at record levels. No matter November’s victor, natural gas must continue to be the foundation of the American energy system.