Posted April 25, 2018
There are plenty of statistics out there to measure the scope of U.S. natural gas production. The United States is the No. 1 natural gas producer in the world, producing 78.9 billion cubic feet per day in 2017. Exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) nearly quadrupled in 2017, making the U.S. a net natural gas exporter for the first time in nearly 60 years and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the nation.
The numbers are impressive, but the economic and climate benefits they make possible are even more remarkable. In a new series of short videos, we’ve boiled down the natural gas advantage into five words:
U.S. carbon emissions are at 25-year lows while global CO2 emissions have risen more than 50 percent since 1990. Reliable and affordable, natural gas has become the leading fuel for U.S. electricity generation, sending carbon emissions in that sector – and beyond -- plummeting.
Natural gas safely produced with horizontal drilling results in a 90 percent smaller surface footprint. How? Innovative horizontal drilling technology makes it possible to access energy horizontally in multiple directions from a single vertical well. The same revolutionary technological advances that made the U.S. the world’s leading natural gas and oil producer have also made energy exploration even safer and more efficient.
Energy is cleaner, cheaper and lowers Americans’ energy costs. Today only 6.6 percent of a household’s monthly spending is on energy.
America's manufacturing jobs continue to rise, primarily due to affordable U.S. energy. The household savings mentioned above also apply on an industrial scale. Manufacturers – including producers of steel, chemicals, refined fuels, plastics, fertilizers and numerous other products -- are saving on power and materials costs, translating into a competitive advantage for U.S. businesses.
Natural gas enables wind and solar energy with its ability to ramp up and down quickly. Natural gas is an essential partner that enables integration of intermittent renewable sources like wind and solar – providing reliable power when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
Not that long ago, it didn’t seem possible that the U.S. would lead the world in natural gas and oil production, much less lead the world in reduction of carbon emissions at the same time. With record-breaking production of clean natural gas, the hard-working women and men of America’s natural gas and oil industry are making the impossible, possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jack N. Gerard is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. He also has served as the president and CEO of trade associations representing the chemical and mining industries. Jack understands how Washington works. He spent several years working in the U.S. Senate and House, and co-founded a Washington-based government relations consulting firm. A native of Idaho, Jack also is very active in the Boy Scouts of America, a university graduate program on politics, and his church’s leadership. He and his wife are the proud parents of eight children, including twin boys adopted from Guatemala.