by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
While the Green New Deal continues to dominate energy discussions in the United States, the rest of the world continues to rely on coal, oil, and natural gas. And of those three, according to a report released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency, natural-gas consumption grew faster last year than any other form of energy, including renewables. That jump in global gas use reflects the soaring growth in U.S. production and exports of that same fuel. …
… Renewables such as wind and solar get lots of positive press. But last year renewables were eclipsed by the growth in global gas use, which jumped by 4.6 percent. At that rate, global gas demand could double within the next 16 years or so. The good news about the growth in global gas demand is that it is helping displace coal and liquid fuels for electricity generation — a change that, in turn, is helping reduce air pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions. During combustion, gas emits almost zero sulfur dioxide, and it produces about half as much carbon dioxide as coal and about 30 percent less than diesel fuel or fuel oil.
One of the main drivers of the surge in global gas use is the shale revolution. States such as Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Louisiana are all producing record quantities of natural gas. Indeed, the growth in domestic gas production has been nothing short of astonishing. In 2005, U.S. gas production was about 47 billion cubic feet per day. This year, U.S. gas production will average about 90 billion cubic feet per day. That’s an increase of 91 percent in just 14 years.