Natural Gas is the Bridge to a Clean Energy Future
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Submitted by EFC Team on August 10th, 2009

Recent technology advancements make affordable the development of unconventional natural gas resources. This creates an unprecedented opportunity to use gas as a bridge fuel to a 21st-century energy economy that relies on efficiency, renewable sources, and low-carbon fossil fuels such as natural gas.

Despite the potential energy, economic, and security benefits of natural gas, the recently House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act, H.R. 2454, does not include enough opportunities to expand its use. The Center for American Progress and the Energy Future Coalition therefore propose a number of policies that would increase the use of natural gas and low-carbon energy sources while providing additional protection for our climate and communities, including:

  • Establishing incentives to retire aging, inefficient, dirty coal-fired power plants, and replace them with renewable and low-carbon electricity.
  • Creating a renewables integration credit to offset specific costs associated with producing high levels of renewable energy and to reward going beyond the renewable electricity standard.
  • Requiring that the carbon price and other costs are included when determining the dispatch order for moving electricity onto the grid to prioritize natural gas and other clean electricity.
  • Expand the market for natural gas as a heavy-duty transportation fuel by increasing incentives for gas-powered buses and heavy trucks.
  • Conducting a comprehensive analysis of the impact of natural gas production on air, water, land, and global warming. Include a compilation of best practices and recommendations for new state safeguards
  • Supporting public disclosure requirements on the release of toxic chemicals used during the production of natural gas
  • Expanding the Natural Gas STAR program where natural gas producers voluntarily capture and resell methane instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.

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