The American Petroleum Institute (API) has released a new study, ahead of the global climate change conference in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. It describes the effect that increased natural gas use for US energy production has on carbon dioxide emissions. In it says that the boom of affordable natural gas has provided the market with enough incentive to use the cleaner-burning fuel more, and this resulted in CO2 emissions to drop to a 27 year low. The report cites Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data indicating that methane emissions are lower, and the biggest drop is attributed to hydraulically fractured natural gas wells.
“America’s private sector has already taken the lead on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even as we increase economic activity and domestic energy production to keep energy reliable and affordable for consumers,” said Jack Gerard, API president and CEO.
The API report also criticized the Obama administration for their plan to reduce CO2 emissions through policies that favor renewable energy. Citing EPA data that show US carbon emissions have declined while the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased, with natural gas being the main source of energy production in 11 of the 22 states that have below average emission rates.
While the API says it believes the future potential of renewable energy, it also does not think renewable energy should be favored over low- or non-emitting sources if the goal is to reduce carbon emissions. Or as Gerard put it: “Our success is driven, not by government mandate or legislative fiat, but through innovation, investment, and entrepreneurial spirit.”