Climate change is an important issue. Increased use of natural gas is helping to combat climate change by lowering carbon dioxide emissions. While U.S. gas production is up 37 percent since 1990, greenhouse gas emissions are down 17 percent.
Because natural gas is made of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, the natural gas industry is hard at work lowering those emissions. The natural gas pipeline industry is tackling methane emissions by “tightening up” its system. In the past 30 years, the industry has reduced the number of pipeline leaks by 94 percent through pipeline integrity and maintenance programs and continued investment in new pipeline facilities. That has prevented emission of 122 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent. That is like eliminating a yearlong 25 million car traffic jam, enough to wrap the earth three times.
We are also looking for ways to reduce releases from compressor equipment by establishing industry guidelines with a particular focus on equipment with the largest-emissions profile.
Natural gas has an important role in helping the nation become a larger user of renewable energy, like wind and solar in electric generation. It is the number one “back stop” to ensure we continue to have electricity even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.