Houston Mayor: Texas Natural Gas Key to ‘Lifting Communities Out of Energy Poverty’

Fri, September 20, 2019

As the global natural gas conference Gastech 2019 kicked off in Houston on Tuesday, the city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, expressed his support for the fuel and its role in “lifting communities out of poverty.” This statement, in which he also noted the climate benefits of natural gas, highlights the growing importance of U.S. natural gas worldwide, driven in large part by production and exports from Texas.

As Mayor Turner said:

“The official opening of Gastech 2019 will celebrate the US as an emerging leading in the export of natural gas and recognise the vibrant global gas industry as it leads the charge in supporting the transition to a lower carbon tomorrow and lifting communities out of poverty.”

This is not the first time that Mayor Turner has touted the benefits of natural gas production and exports. Last year, Turner and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) each wrote letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – the agency charged with overseeing U.S. energy infrastructure – supporting the proposed Rio Grande LNG natural gas export terminal at the Port of Brownsville. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility, he noted, would bolster Texas’ position as a source of reliable, cleaner burning fuel for countries around the world. As Mayor Turner wrote:

“Next Decade’s Rio Grande LNG project will enable developed and emerging markets around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing carbon-intensive fuels with natural gas and other forms of cleaner energy.”

Considering the substantial natural gas resources that are being produced in Texas – and are now technically recoverable thanks to fracking – the Lone Star State is now poised to play an even greater role in alleviating “energy poverty” around the globe. 

As a new study from Potential Gas Committee and the American Gas Association found, the amount of recoverable natural gas in the United States now tops 3.37 trillion cubic feet (TCF) – a more than 550 TCF increase from the 2016 report. Combined, the Mid-Continent and Gulf Coast regions (both of which Texas is a part) account for over 1.1 TCF of potential natural gas resources. 

Combine that potential with Texas’ energy infrastructure and number of ports along the cost, and there’s no doubt the state will be a driving force in energy exports. As Mayor Turner states on the Gastech 2019 website:

“The United States is set to become a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in over half a century, and Houston will be at the center of that commerce. Our city has the resources, the infrastructure, the expertise, and the largest U.S. port in foreign tonnage. In short, Houston is ready to take the leading role in the U.S. energy exports market.”