Natural gas is a critical but contentious part of our energy supply. Its relatively low prices, 50-60% fewer emissions compared to coal, and its flexible ramping capability have lowered the U.S.’s total overall emissions while still delivering affordable and reliable energy. Carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. energy sector decreased 28% between 2005 and 2018 with natural gas responsible for more than half of the reduction. Looking ahead, experts predict that the shift from coal to natural gas and renewables will continue in the coming years. The industry’s picture also includes expected increases in natural gas exports. On May 19, 2021, OurEnergyPolicy hosted a panel discussion to explore the future of natural gas.
Panelists discussed the economic, environmental, and policy issues facing the industry and what could be expected for its role in the future energy mix. While stating their belief that natural gas is essential and will be a part of the energy mix far into the future, panelists acknowledged that there are challenges that must be addressed. Managing methane flaring and leakage, minimizing environmental impacts of fracking, and continuing to decarbonize the production pipeline must all be goals for the industry. Panelists also offered their thoughts on new and developing technologies—such as carbon capture and hydrogen production—that could become an integral part of the natural gas equation in the future. Panelists also fielded questions about their views on natural gas as a bridge fuel and the industry’s response to emissions reduction legislation.
OurEnergyPolicy’s 5/19/21 Webinar – The Future of Natural Gas