Natural Gas Council Letter to Chairman Bingaman Regarding Clean Energy Standard

March 12, 2010

Hon. Jeff Bingaman
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Representing the broad spectrum of the natural gas industry, the members of the Natural Gas Council urge you and your colleagues to include natural gas in any Clean Energy Standard (CES) developed by Congress. We agree that natural gas will be essential to meeting the nation’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, and therefore, should a CES be adopted, it should be crafted so that utilities have the option of using natural gas to comply with the generation portfolio requirements.

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service highlighted the contribution natural gas could make to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report suggested that simply by making full use of the natural gas power plants that are already built and under-utilized, significant emission reductions could be achieved. These reductions could be realized without major infrastructure additions, and without the development of new technologies or energy supplies.

Natural gas located in abundance in shale formations in more than 20 states has led to a 39 percent increase in natural gas supply. This has transformed the ability of the industry to respond more rapidly, with more flexibility and on a larger scale than ever before, enabling greater use of this domestic energy resource. Assuming continued access to our vast resource base, natural gas can and should be used in the power sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and clean energy policies developed by Congress should employ natural gas as a solution. Energy and climate legislation has, to date, largely overlooked natural gas and its vital role. We hope you and your colleagues will include natural gas in a CES going forward.


R. Skip Horvath
President and CEO
Natural Gas Supply Association

Barry Russell
President and CEO
Independent Petroleum Association of America

Donald F. Santa, Jr.
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America

David N. Parker
President and CEO
American Gas Association

cc: Hon. John Kerry Hon. Richard Lugar
Hon. Lindsey Graham Hon. Joe Lieberman
Hon. Tom Udall