The US President’s special climate envoy John Kerry this week expressed support for natural gas as a long-term energy source, provided the resulting carbon emissions are reduced.
“I’m all for the gas in this transition effort, and I’m hoping someone comes up with the technology that can find an affordable way to capture emissions,” Kerry said during a virtual panel at an event. by the American Chamber of Commerce.
“The gas itself isn’t the problem,” Kerry said. He added that the problem lies in carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the combustion of methane, the main component of natural gas.
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He cited that the relentless greenhouse gas emissions from burning natural gas are about half those of coal, “so I’m all for the gas. I’ll take a gas turbine instead of a coal-fired power station anytime…”
The caveat, he said, is that “if you’re talking about a 30 or 40 year horizon, which is currently needed to recoup the cost, you have a problem if you don’t have the reduction. So that’s what everyone has to understand… We’re not going to solve the problem if we can’t capture and store, or find a use for the carbon.
Oil and gas lobby groups such as the American Petroleum Institute (API) have also advocated for the expansion of carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS).
“We think there’s a whole range of things government can do in this space as well as in the private sector,” Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of policy, told NGI last month. API Economics and Regulatory Affairs.
Macchiarola cited the proposed $100 billion CCUS project in Houston being developed by a group of companies led by ExxonMobil, as well as the Internal Revenue Service’s Section 45Q tax credit for CCUS.
The 45Q incentive “is an important piece of tax policy that helps move CCUS forward,” he said. “We would like to see this expanded and expanded… There are a whole range of areas where we can increase and elevate our investment in this important technology. We believe the cost of these investments today will pay off in helping us achieve our shared energy security goals and address the climate challenge.
President Biden also endorsed the combination of fossil fuel power generation with CCUS in a recent executive order directing the federal government – the nation’s largest energy consumer – to achieve 100% electricity consumption. % carbon neutral on a net basis by 2030.
In its Sustainable Development Scenario, the International Energy Agency models natural gas and oil providing almost half of the world’s energy in 2040, even if every nation meets the goals of the global climate agreement of the 2015 United Nations, aka the Paris Agreement.
Natural gas provided 40.5% of electricity generation in the United States in 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration.