Sep 06, 2016
Natural gas is having a profoundly game changing positive impact on the environment and the economy according to a recent column in the The Hill by energy and environmental consultant and former EPA assistant administrator Dr. J. Winston Porter who described “the golden age of natural gas.”
In the August 30, 2016 piece Dr. Porter marveled at the fact that “no country is reducing its emissions faster” than the United States and that “carbon emissions from power plants have fallen to 25-year lows” while still experiencing economic growth, perhaps due to the fact that “wholesale electricity prices have fallen 40 percent over the past five years” driven by clean-burning, domestic, abundant and affordable natural gas.
The column describes the important relationship of natural gas and alternative sources of power generation like wind and solar indicating that “greater use of natural gas isn't an impediment to renewables, it's actually helping integrate them onto the electrical grid.” Dr. Porter continued, “new research from scientists in the U.S., Italy and France shows that adding more natural gas to the electric grid is actually an ‘enabling factor’ for adoption of wind and solar power, since fast-acting back-up power is needed when the wind is not blowing nor the sun shining. Natural gas power plants provide this back-up faster than any other energy source. So, gas is also the perfect complement to renewables.”
Over the last decade the U.S. has experienced a new era of domestic oil and natural gas production from unconventional sources like shales found deep beneath the Earth’s surface, unlocked by the combination of two proven-technologies horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Energy analysts from The Heritage Foundation called this “an amazing story of American ingenuity, persistence, and, of course, drilling.”
These benefits extend beyond power generation and into transportation as well. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, Independent Statistics & Analysis reported that domestic regular retail gasoline prices are at 12-year lows for Labor Day 2016.
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