Environmental Subsite

Importance of Natural Gas in the Climate Debate

Natural gas is playing a critical role in reducing U.S. and global greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels, emitting about half the carbon dioxide per unit of energy as coal when burned. 

Low-emissions energy resources, like nuclear and renewable generation, and energy efficiency advances certainly will be part of the worldwide solution for GHG reductions. Some of these technologies remain several decades away from large-scale commercial deployment. Abundant U.S. natural gas provides affordable and reliable energy today and can contribute to both near-term and mid-term GHG emission reductions. 

The increased use of natural gas as a fuel to generate electricity already has helped to reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the past decade. However, the increased production and consumption of natural gas in the U.S. has resulted in increased focus on natural gas as a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, especially methane emissions.