Natural Gas Use Benefits

Archive—In case you missed's a look back at the August 2015 issue of EM, which examined topics related to the increased use of natural gas by all economic sectors.

by Jesse Thé

As environmental professionals, we need to understand how current and future regulatory initiatives influence certain energy sector opportunities. This issue of EM focuses on future challenges and opportunities for our members, related to the growing trend of using natural gas as a replacement for other fossil fuels.

To reduce the carbon intensity of the American electricity sector, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the “Clean Power Plan” (CPP). The CPP will limit carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units, including steam-generating, integrated gasification combined cycle, and stationary combustion turbines (USEPA, 2014).

Therefore, the CPP will reduce some of the opportunities on the current energy matrix, while opening new ones. Although a complex document, this plan basically attempts to shift energy generation from coal into natural gas and other renewables.

Our readers know too well most of the touted natural gas benefits, such as reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) generation and improvement of air quality due to lower SO2 and PM emissions. Furthermore, the increasing production of natural gas in the United States promotes significant economic activities.

Members can read the full August 2015 issue of EM.