U.S. Energy Abundance: Exports and the Changing Global Energy Landscape
Testimony of James Bradbury
Research by the World Resources Institute has found that cuts in upstream methane leakage from natural gas systems are among the most important steps the U.S. can take toward meeting our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals by 2020 and beyond.
In this testimony, James Bradbury offers the following policy recommendations to help achieve reductions in GHG emissions from throughout the natural gas value chain:
Expand applied technology research programs at the U.S. Department of Energy to help reduce the cost of leak-detection and emissions measurement technologies, and to develop new and lower-cost emission reduction strategies.
Update emissions factors for natural gas systems using robust measurement protocols, public reporting by industry, and independent verification.
Authorize and appropriate funding for the organization STRONGER (State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations) to help states with timely development and evaluation of their environmental regulations.
Support voluntary programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including Natural Gas STAR and other programs which recognize companies that demonstrate a commitment to best practices.
Support EPA’s efforts to provide technical and regulatory assistance to states with expanding oil and natural gas development, including through the Ozone Advance Program.
Enact policies to support clean energy and address climate change. A clean energy standard or putting a price on carbon would provide clear signals to energy markets that energy providers and users need to recognize the environmental and social costs as well as the direct economic costs of energy resources.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports present both opportunities and risks. Producing and delivering natural gas to customers is highly energy- and emissions-intensive, particularly when LNG is involved. Research by the World Resources Institute has found that cuts in upstream methane leakage from natural gas systems are among the most important steps the U.S. can take toward meeting our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals by 2020 and beyond.
This testimony focuses on fugitive methane emissions and the many cost-effective solutions available for reducing them. It appears very likely that LNG exports from U.S. terminals would result in increased domestic GHG emissions from both upstream and downstream sources. Policymakers should more actively work to help achieve reductions in GHG emissions from throughout the natural gas value chain, if this valuable fuel and LNG are to be part of the solution to the climate change problem. Taking these actions offer economic, environmental, and geopolitical benefits, both in the U.S. and internationally.
U.S. ClimateVisit Project
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