Joe Biden Should Embrace Natural Gas to Combat Climate Change and Fuel Our Economic Recovery

Joe Biden Should Embrace Natural Gas to Combat Climate Change and Fuel Our Economic Recovery

August 11, 2020

In an opinion piece in The Dallas Morning News authored by Gene Green, former Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Green reports on the importance of the natural gas industry:

I’m old enough to remember President Barack Obama’s pride in American natural gas and his willingness to embrace the resource. As the 44th president put it, “The natural gas boom has led to cleaner power, and greater energy independence … natural gas isn’t just appearing magically … we’re encouraging it and working with the industry.”

Despite the shrillest members of our party villainizing natural gas, candidate Biden can improve his November chances by following in Obama’s footsteps and acknowledging that natural gas will do much of the heavy lifting toward his economic and climate goals.

To start the conversation, Biden can point to myriad data showing the role of natural gas in lowering emissions.

This includes: Environmental Protection Agency data showing significant reductions in greenhouse gas and power sector emissions due in large part to the greater use of natural gas; and suggestions from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute that the increased use of natural gas “played a major role” in 41 states reducing emissions between 2000 and 2015. 

The benefits of natural gas have allowed the EPA to anoint the U.S. as a world leader in reducing emissions and to decrease its energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 12% while global emissions rose by 24% from 2005 to 2018. The American Petroleum Institute found, “using American liquified natural gas…for electricity generation in [coal-intesive] countries can cut greenhouse gas emission by an average of 50.5%.”

While Biden’s proposal bans any new oil and gas development on federal land or waters, the appointed advisors on his climate task force and progressives in his party are aiming to dismantle the entire industry. The U.S. has had a competitive advantage on natural gas since the fracking revolution that earned our country the number one spot as the world’s top oil exporter.

The plan to revamp our entire energy sector to subsidized renewables is detached from economic and energy reality. Energy Information Administration data from 2018 shows 31% of households face a challenge in paying energy bills. Without the affordable and reliable energy the natural gas sector provides, American households won’t be able to heat and power their homes. The coastal liberal elites should focus on how to provide relief to and build up the middle class during our economic recovery, not burden them further.