VIDEO: Natural Gas Has Helped Lower Emissions While Economy Grows

Ellen Wald, an energy historian and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, recently partnered with the GAIN coalition to release a series of videos about U.S. energy. The first video, recently released, explains how an uptick in natural gas use in the U.S. has helped keep emissions lower as our economy has grown.

Wald explains that by reducing dependence on coal and switching to using more natural gas, the United States has kept emissions level – even while our economy has grown. “We’ve seen our electricity consumption rise over the past decade or 15 years, so our demand has increased. And you would think that with an increase in demand, you’ll also see an increase in emissions. But because we’ve switched so many coal plants to natural gas plants, we haven’t even seen almost any increase in emissions.”

The shift to natural gas, which Wald notes is a “much cleaner form of energy,” has enabled the United States to “grow our economy, grow our consumption, grow our population and our energy use – without also increasing our emissions.” These same benefits should be felt by the rest of the world – particularly countries with emerging economies. The fact is that much of the developing world is still reliant on high-emission fuel like coal or wood. Increasing exports of American natural gas to these countries represents a tremendous opportunity to reduce emissions globally.

The discussion illustrates why the U.S. and the current administration should be investing in natural gas development, production, and transportation, not villainizing it. Removing the red tape obstructing the sector, among other policies, would be a good start.

Watch the first video from Ellen Wald and the GAIN Coalition here: Grow America’s Infrastructure Now