Natural gas is substantially cleaner than coal. It is an essential partner to the development of renewables, providing back-up power when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine, and it is the only energy alternative with the scale right now to make a substantial difference in reducing harmful emissions into our air.
We have enough natural gas right here in North America to power our nation for generations to come, according to studies by IHS CERA, MIT, the Potential Gas Committee and the Energy Information Administration. We are the envy of the world for this natural abundance, and it's time to take full advantage of the clean energy possibilities it presents to our nation.
When it comes to the environment, greater use of natural gas has lead to significantly reduced power sector CO2 emissions. But that's just the beginning of this clean energy story. Natural gas burns cleaner than other fuel sources, with less pollutants and no mercury.
Nat gas also is vastly underutilized in this country. According to the Congressional Research Service, natural gas combined cycle turbines (the most efficient natural gas power plants running today) are on average run at 42% of their full capacity. This means we can start immediately to transition to cleaner energy and cleaner skies.
How can government policies help advance our clean energy future?