A recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) found that the use of natural gas over the last 10 years has caused significant reductions in the emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide.
According to the report, “Co2 emissions from U.S. fossil-fuel power plans were 23% lower in 2012 than they would have been” without natural gas usage. The increased use of natural gas also led to emissions reductions of NOx (40%) and SO2 (44%).
Lead author Joost de Gouw of the University of Colorado Boulder said, “Since more and more of our electricity is coming from these cleaner power plants, emissions from the power sector are lower by 20, 30, even 40 percent for some gases, since 1997.”
In other words, natural gas has allowed the United States to meet its demand for affordable energy while also dramatically decreasing emissions. If we continue on this trajectory, we can expect emissions to decrease even more.
Natural gas is also providing enormous economic benefits, creating jobs, lowing energy bills, and putting the United States on the path to energy independence – benefits that would not accrue were it not for the newfound abundance of natural gas made possible by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
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