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Natural gas industry executives attending a global warming confab tell attendees natural gas is the solution, not the problem.
Our friend and guest blogger, Mark Dye, has long been of the mind that the natural gas industry has been asleep at the switch in not aggressively pointing out gas is the smartest and most effective method of lowering CO2 emissions and, therefore, addressing global warming concerns. He was pleased, therefore, to write me very early this morning to let me know some of what was said by the natural gas industry at a big virtual IHS Markit CERAWeek conference this week.
Natural gas industry folks participating in the event included Enbridge Chief Operating Officer Michele Harradence who opined as follows according to Reuters:
“The most important thing to continue to impress upon the policymakers is natural gas can and should be a big part of the climate change solutions,” Michele Harradence, SVP and chief operations officer gas transmission and midstream at Canadian energy firm Enbridge Inc, said at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek.
She noted gas has already “done a lot to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in North America. It is an excellent compliment to renewable energy and provides low cost reliable backup needed to support growth of renewable infrastructure.”
In the United States, carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels fell in 2020 to its lowest since 1983 as coal-fired power plants retired and were replaced by gas-fired generators and renewable electric sources, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Harradence noted that building more gas infrastructure does not lock in emissions over the long term since “We can blend hydrogen and renewable natural gas into the gas stream and that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
That wasn’t all. Andy Calitz, Deputy Secretary-General of the International Gas Union (IGU) trade group said:
“amazingly cold winter in the northern hemisphere … will impress upon governments … that a careful balance needs to be struck between energy security and climate risk … because the stakes are so enormously high.”
And, there was this from Chevron CEO Michael Wirth, who stated:
“Natural gas should play a very important role” in reducing emissions. “This is an area where there should be common ground” with policy makers.
This last comment, despite its blandness, may be the most important. This is because of what the conference represented; a coming together of natural gas industry folks with policy makers and influencers dedicated to addressing global warming. Wirth is essentially saying “Come on guys, you can’t do want without us, and you know it. Let’s work together.”
One reason this message resonates more today than yesterday, perhaps, is due to what the Texas debacle illustrated; that central planning by grid-masters based on political correctness and over-reliance on renewables doesn’t work so well. Natural gas is the quickest and most reliable way to simultaneously achieve energy security and environmental goals.
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