EPA’s Clean Power Plan
No matter how states choose to implement the Clean Power Plan, natural gas provides the most cost-effective meet emission targets while ensuring reliable, affordable power. With or without the rule, natural gas will continue to be an essential component of how America produces energy for years to come.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) is a sweeping and complex rule affecting most power generation in the country, with the singular focus of environmental impact. Should the rule be upheld by the courts, states must carefully consider CPP implementation choices as they balance their need to meet emission requirements, maintain reliability and minimize costs. Natural gas generation meets all three objectives, providing a generation solution that is clean, reliable and affordable.
Natural Gas is Abundant and Affordable
Abundant natural gas means we can put it to greater use across our economy while having the confidence it will stay affordable for years to come.
Government agencies and independent research institutions have continued to increase their estimates of the amount of gas we have in the United States, and these reserves have dramatically changed the global energy equation. Since the beginning of 2005, natural gas production in the United States has increased by 41 percent. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects a 64 percent increase in total natural gas production from 2014 to 2040. This abundance has led the Energy Information Administration to project stable natural gas prices for years to come.
Natural Gas Adds Diversity and Reduces Emissions
Natural gas is playing an increasing role in power generation. As a result, America’s energy mix is becoming more diverse and cleaner.
As this power shift becomes the “new normal” for American energy, natural gas will play a leading role in providing baseload generation while also enabling a greater use of intermittent sources of energy such as wind and solar. Natural gas can be relied upon to produce the electricity we need day and night.
Natural gas use for electricity has increased by 75 percent since 2005, and now accounts for more than a quarter of our electrical generation mix (32.4 percent). This increase in use, combined with the fact that natural gas emits half the CO2 emissions of coal when used to generate electricity, helped drive a 12 percent reduction in carbon emissions from the United States power sector since 2005.
With or without the CPP, natural gas will continue to reduce the emissions intensity of the U.S. power sector.