As the Biden administration continues to develop their energy policy priorities, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm gave some insight recently into the potential future of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) and how it fits in to the administration’s wider agenda.
During an interview with E&E News, Secretary Granholm hinted at the administration’s acceptance of LNG and related infrastructure saying:
“[U.S. LNG is often headed to] countries that would otherwise be using very carbon-intensive fuels, it does have the impact of reducing internationally carbon emissions. However, I will say there is an opportunity here, as well, to really start to deploy some technologies with respect to natural gas in the Gulf and other places that we are siting these facilities for that we are obligated to do under the law.”
Exporting climate solutions
Natural gas is a key driver of decreased emissions both in the United States and worldwide. As EID has said many, many, many, many times before, the displacement of higher emitting fuels by natural gas will lead to decreased carbon emissions, especially in countries like China and India, some of the highest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world.
In India, coal represented 45 percent of the country’s total energy consumption in 2019, followed by other petroleum-based fuels and biomass, accounting for 26 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Natural gas only accounts for about 6 percent of the country’s total energy mix. Similarly in China, coal (58 percent) and petroleum-based fuels (20 percent) are the primary energy sources, with natural gas only accounting for about 8 percent of total energy consumption in 2019. By growing the amount of natural gas exported to these countries, it is possible to truly be able to make an impact on global climate emissions.
Beyond Asia, Europe and South America are increasingly ideally suited for U.S. LNG exports. A recent analysis from Shell found global LNG demand is expected to double to 700 million tons by 2014.
Secretary Granholm’s positive comments follow other nominees’ openness to LNG, particularly when it comes to national security. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Deputy Energy Secretary nominee David Turk supported LNG as an important export:
“We’re a democracy; we’re the leader of the free world. I think it’s a much better outcome for Japan or others to get their energy supplies from the U.S. than to get it from Russia or other countries.”
Beyond emissions reductions, U.S. LNG allows offers greater energy security which translates into increased national security.
As the use and exportation of U.S. LNG continues to expand, further cementing natural gas’ position as a preferred power source, American producers are key players in the global energy transition. As the Biden administration’s energy policy takes shape, these comments hopefully signal a willingness to grow and expand U.S. LNG, a pragmatic, affordable and effective way to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
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