Last week, INGAA President and CEO Amy Andryszak spoke at the United States Energy Association’s (USEA) 2022 State of the Energy Industry Forum where she emphasized the critical role the interstate natural gas industry has in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering energy bills, and ensuring grid reliability while addressing the current global energy crisis.
INGAA’s members, who represent most of the interstate natural gas industry in the US and Canada, and operate almost 200,000 miles of pipeline, are the backbone of our natural gas industry. They fuel power plants that keep the lights on, heat our homes, and drive community investments across the country. However, they face challenges from policymakers, including federal permitting delays and a proposed new tax on natural gas that would limit our ability to deploy US natural gas to achieve our energy security and climate goals.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what Ms. Andryszak said at the event:
“We are not immune to this (energy) crisis in the United States. And yet, there are warning signs that policymakers are ignoring while also pursuing policies that could worsen the situation.
“Here’s the truth that many of our policymakers refuse to acknowledge. For so many of our nation’s challenges, natural gas is part of the answer.
“If our goal is to keep energy prices low, natural gas is the answer.
- “According to the EIA, the cost to heat an average home with natural gas this winter is $746. Homes using electric heating, however, will pay $1,268. That means natural gas is saving homeowners nearly 40%. The broader industry trend of replacing coal with lower-cost natural gas has also protected working families from higher electric bills.
- “Our abundance of natural gas has allowed for a domestic manufacturing renaissance. According to the American Chemistry Council, as of October 2021 the shale gas revolution has spurred more than $200 billion in manufacturing investment in the United States. Without investment in natural gas, including the pipelines and infrastructure necessary to move it from the well pad to the consumer, these investments almost assuredly would have been made overseas.
“If our goal is to address climate change, natural gas is a big part of the answer.
- “The United States has consistently led the world in reducing CO2 emissions, driven mostly by our competitive advantage in abundant and affordable natural gas. In fact, over the past 15 years, no fuel has done more to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the United States than natural gas.
- “Last year, INGAA released our 2021 Climate Statement, including working as an industry towards reaching net-zero GHG emissions from natural gas transmission and storage operations by no later than 2050, supported by necessary technology advancements and sound public policy initiatives. INGAA also supports federal methane standards, and our members have a long history of minimizing methane emissions from their operations.
“If we want to strengthen our position as a global energy leader, natural gas is the answer.
- “Europe is suffering from natural gas shortages and rising energy prices. Natural gas storage levels in the EU are at an all-time low of 56%. The continent has become more dependent on imported gas from Russia. European households are on track to pay an average of 54 percent more for energy than just two years ago.
- “But we should not just help our friends in Europe through this crisis. We should also learn from their experience, so we don’t replicate it here.
- “We must continue investing in American energy, not restricting it – whether it’s renewable energy technologies or traditional fuels like natural gas. As Europe has discovered, you cannot ban your way to clean energy without threatening affordability and reliability.
“If we want to expand the use of renewable energy, natural gas is the answer.
- “The Biden administration has made a major commitment to expanding the use of renewable energy in the United States, particularly wind and solar. But we all must recognize that these technologies are complementary to natural gas, and they require a robust natural gas infrastructure to ensure affordability and reliability.
- “Research from the National Bureau of Economic Research, for example, found a correlation between the growth of natural gas for power generation and the increased deployment of renewables. This ‘win-win’ delivers lower costs for consumers while also continuing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring energy reliability.
“If we want to create good jobs, natural gas infrastructure is part of the answer.
- “The natural gas industry supports over 600,000 jobs. Natural gas industry workers earn a median hourly wage of more than $30 an hour, approximately 59% higher than the national average, and unionization rates in our industry far surpass the national private sector average.
- “Our employees are proud to be part of an industry that provides family-sustaining jobs, and they’re also proud of the opportunities that natural gas infrastructure enables across our country… Investing in natural gas infrastructure will continue to create job opportunities across our economy, as long as permitting policies actually allow for that investment.”
In case you missed it, here’s what people said about the event:
- “The trajectory of US energy policy threatens to raise fuel prices, throttle renewable energy expansion and hamper energy diplomacy, according to the president and CEO of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.” – Tom DiChristopher, S&P Global
- “Some of the policy issues top-of-mind for USEA panelists during the second session included those around climate challenges, tax credits and investment incentives, energy infrastructure, cybersecurity, and workforce-related and supply chain pressures.” – Kim Riley, Daily Energy Insider
- “The U.S. has a broad and diverse range of energy resources, and all of them — from coal and gas to nuclear and renewables — are critical to the nation’s clean energy future.” – Amanda Cook, K Kaufmann, and Jennifer Delony, RTO Insider
INGAA members understand the critical role they have in addressing climate change, keeping energy prices low, and supporting the entire energy industry as the US strengthens its position as a global energy leader. Regardless of the challenges ahead, our members stand ready to deliver the solutions we need.