The bottom line from the groundbreaking National Energy Technology Laboratory report I recently cited is that generating baseload electricity with natural gas will end up cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s not just my interpretation.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirmed as much when it announced that U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions were at their lowest levels since 1992.
That’s extraordinary because, even with recent economic struggles, the U.S. economy is 60 percent larger than it was two decades ago, and our primary energy consumption is roughly 14 percent higher. Yet we’re emitting fewer greenhouse gases.
How so? Efficiency gains across the economy have played a part. Mild weather last winter and reduced energy consumption from an economy weakened by recession were factors as well.
But according to EIA, “The decline in coal-related emissions is due mainly to utilities using less coal for electricity generation as they burned more low-priced natural gas” (emphasis mine).
The shale revolution is generating tremendous benefits for the U.S. economy. It’s good for the environment as well.