Senior White House Climate Advisor Defends Oil and Gas Industry

Senior Climate Adviser to the White House, John Podesta, praised the oil and gas industry and defended its continued development in recent comments to the Guardian:

The US is now the number one producer of oil and gas in the world, the number one exporter of natural gas, and that’s a good thing, because following the illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the need that Europe had to rely on different sources rather than Russia fossils, it was important that the US could step up and supply a good deal of the need.” (emphasis added)

The statement was made despite the fact that the Biden administration still has a pause on LNG exports – a policy that has been criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike – and that the Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this year that he played a role in the policy decision.

The benefits of U.S. global energy dominance cannot be overstated.  Natural gas exports to Europe have been critical in reducing Russian energy dependence. The ability to swiftly support our allies during complex geopolitical conflict strengthens our diplomatic ties and emphasizes natural gas reliability and flexibility.

U.S. natural gas is exceedingly sought after due to the rigorous standards American producers have proactively adopted to curb emissions. For instance, from 2015-2022, natural gas production rose by 40 percent while methane emissions fell by 37 percent. In addition, American companies have flared and vented the lowest volume of natural gas in almost two decades last year. These strides make U.S. natural gas one of the most efficient and climate-friendly sources of energy, with innovation showing no sign of slowing down. In fact, natural gas is responsible for the majority of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector since 2005.

Natural gas dominance is not limited to emission reductions. The U.S. Department of Energy recently released a new forecast, highlighting natural gas affordability. DOE’s analysis showed that U.S. natural gas is 3.3 times more affordable for residential energy use than electricity. Along with saving Americans money at home, natural gas generates billions of dollars in tax revenue to be distributed back into communities.

Bottom Line: American gas producers are constantly pushing the mark for best practice, putting clean, efficient natural gas on the market. It’s a welcome shift to hear a senior White House official acknowledge the vital role natural gas plays in our capacity to continue growing while reducing emissions and providing energy for all.

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