Tulsa’s Williams Companies and a number of other energy firms along with climate advocates and labor groups formally launched a new advocacy group for increased production and exportation of liquid natural gas.
The name of the coalition is PAGE or Partnership to Address Global Emissions. PAGE will advocate for policies that enable the development of the infrastructure needed to increase production and export of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace foreign coal and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
EQT Corporation, TC Energy and Williams are founding members of PAGE, and an advisory council of supportive individuals and organizations – from think tanks, trade unions and academia – will provide outside guidance and expertise to the coalition and its members.
“If the U.S. unlocks the full potential of LNG to replace international coal, the emissions reductions would be equivalent to electrifying every U.S. vehicle, powering every U.S. home with rooftop solar and doubling U.S. wind capacity combined,” said Toby Z. Rice, chief executive officer of EQT Corporation and one of PAGE’s founding members. “All we need is the greenlight to build the infrastructure that will let us get natural gas from where it is produced to where it can be used.”
Over the past 15 years, the U.S. has led the world in GHG emissions reductions, driven in large part by switching electricity production from coal to natural gas, which generates considerably fewer CO2 emissions. During this time, over 200 U.S. coal plants closed. This year, however, foreign coal demand is on the rise, exacerbated by skyrocketing energy prices and Russia’s war against Ukraine. In 2022, coal usage is forecasted to match its all-time high, which was reached in 2013.
PAGE will help develop and promote policies that support four core objectives:
- Replace foreign coal with a reliable, affordable supply of cleaner U.S. natural gas
- Help countries meet their emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement
- Address the energy security needs of U.S. allies in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine by providing new, cleaner energy sources
- Increase energy supplies to reduce inflationary costs that drive up energy prices
“U.S. natural gas has a crucial role to play in the global clean energy transition, providing secure baseload power to eliminate higher emitting coal, while reducing dependence on Russian gas, especially in Europe,” said Paul Bledsoe of the Progressive Policy Institute. “In turn, the U.S. must continue to drive down methane emissions from gas so that American natural gas is the cleanest in the world.”
Advisory council representatives include:
- Paul Bledsoe – Strategic Advisor: Climate, Energy, Economics, Progressive Policy Institute
- Naomi Boness, Ph.D. – Managing Director, Stanford Natural Gas Initiative and Stanford Hydrogen Initiative, Stanford University
- James T. Callahan – General President, International Union of Operating Engineers
- Alex Herrgott – President and CEO, The Permitting Institute
- Sasha Mackler – Executive Director of the Energy Program, Bipartisan Policy Center
- Mark McManus – General President, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA)
- Richard Morningstar – Founding Chairman, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council and former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union
PAGE will continue recruiting new members in the coming months.
“The United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters members work hard to help deliver affordable and reliable energy to American consumers. We are in a prime position to modernize and expand LNG, which will reduce emissions and help the United States meet its energy needs while creating family-sustaining jobs,” said Mark McManus, General President of the United Association. “We are proud to join PAGE at the ground level to lead the path forward to reduce our dependency on foreign coal, lower our global emissions and create a cleaner economic future. The entire United Association stands ready to build the next generation of American energy infrastructure.”
Americans already support natural gas as a solution to current energy and climate challenges. A nationwide poll conducted earlier this year by Democratic polling firm Impact Research showed that nearly 70% of all voters support increasing natural gas production. It also found that, after hearing about natural gas’s benefits, strong majorities of both parties favor building new natural gas pipeline infrastructure to support increased production. By a 33-point margin, voters say they are more likely to support a political candidate who supports increasing the production of natural gas.
“The current energy crisis serves as a striking reminder that energy security and climate goals must be pursued in tandem,” said Richard Morningstar, founding chairman, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council and former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. “There is an urgent need to expand existing efforts to reduce carbon intensity and environmental impacts across the oil and gas value chain to ensure that these energy sources can continue bolstering supply security while contributing to decarbonization targets. The industry and public sector have tremendous opportunities to support this work through scaling up the deployment of innovative technologies, such as carbon capture, storage, and utilization, methane emissions reduction solutions, and initiatives to integrate hydrogen into the energy systems.”
Source: Business Wire