A Better Green Deal: Natural Gas Reducing Emissions More Than Renewables

January 7, 2019

DENVER – A proposal by lawmakers in Congress to end fossil fuel use in 12 years with the “Green New Deal” ignores the leading role of natural gas in reducing carbon emissions, according to Western Energy Alliance. Use of natural gas in electricity generation has done more to reduce emissions than wind and solar energy.

“The United States has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 14 percent since 2005. The primary reason for that success has been natural gas,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “Energy Information Administration (EIA) data show that over the last decade natural gas has delivered 61% of the emissions reductions from fuel switching by power plants, compared to 39% from wind and solar. Industry will continue to innovate and drive those emissions even lower.

“When it comes to climate change, do we care about actual results, or do we just care about virtue signaling? Do we care that the United States has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than any other industrialized country, or do we just want massive government control over the energy we use for every aspect of our daily lives? Policymakers looking to remake the energy sector only need to look at the yellow-vest protests in France and now Canada to gauge public reaction to energy policies that require massive tax increases.”

As the EIA chart above shows, over the last decade natural gas has reduced 2,360 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, 61% of the fuel-switching reductions in the electricity sector, while wind and solar reduced 1,494 million metric tons, or 39%. EIA greenhouse gas emissions data are expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents that take into account the higher potency of methane.