Texas Natural Gas Leads the Way in Reducing Power Generation Emissions

Thu, November 12, 2020

The United States continues to reduce CO2 emissions, and natural gas is the biggest reason why.

Recent data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicate that overall U.S. energy-related emissions declined by 3 percent in 2019, thanks almost entirely to emissions reductions from electric power generation. EIA credits 96 percent of the total decline to changes in the mix of fuels used to generate electricity across the country.

The switch to natural gas in electricity generation is responsible for the decrease. While natural gas use for electricity generation increased from 35 percent to 38 percent, coal use decreased from 27 percent to 23 percent.

These emissions declines are part of a larger trend thanks to natural gas power generation conversions. The EIA reports:

“U.S. electric power sector emissions have fallen 33 percent from their peak in 2007 because less electricity has been generated from coal and more electricity has been generated from natural gas (which emits less CO2 when combusted) and non-carbon sources.”

End-use sectors benefit from cleaner power generation as well. CO2 emissions in the residential and commercial sectors are responsible for 66 percent of the decrease in 2019, indicating that natural gas power generation is cleaner and more efficient for every energy consumer.

As we know, Texas is a leader in natural gas production and transmission. The Barnett Shale alone has thus far produced more than 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to heat 225 million homes for a year – and that formation doesn’t have the largest gas producing county in the state!

As the EIA affirms, an increased use of natural gas delivers a cleaner environment for communities around the country, in addition to delivering lower energy bills for families coast to coast. The data are clear: natural gas is part of the climate solution.