Swinging its support behind the federal action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the American Gas Association (AGA) said Thursday that policymakers must provide energy utilities with the opportunity to make greater use of domestic resources to "make meaningful advances in addressing climate change."
In outlining the association's list of climate change principles, AGA CEO David N. Parker noted that natural gas remains a key part of the formula. "Natural gas, because it is clean and efficient, can serve as the cornerstone in addressing the need to reduce greenhouse gases," he said.
AGA's call comes as Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Staff Director Bob Simon said Thursday that energy efficiency, renewables and climate change will take center stage for the committee in this Congress (see related story). However, opening up more of the Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas drilling will be absent, he said.
"Natural gas is a premium fuel from an environmental perspective, but restrictions on access to natural gas supplies and on the pipelines and infrastructure needed to deliver it are limiting the ability to fully use this fuel for optimum environmental gain," Parker said. "These restrictions have resulted in higher and more volatile natural gas prices, pushing some consumers to less environmentally-attractive competing energy forms."
Because of the access issues, Parker added that diversification of fuels is necessary. "In light of an ongoing failure to increase access to domestic natural gas supplies, the U.S. must adopt an energy policy that promotes diversification of electricity generating sources, including increased use of nuclear, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC or other 'clean coal'), wind, solar and other sources," he said.
The AGA's climate change principles include:
The AGA represents 200 energy utility companies that deliver natural gas to more than 64 million homes, businesses and industries throughout the United States.
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