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Natural Gas Can Be Good for the Environment and Economy

Posted by: Eric Cormier on Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Originally Run in the American Press on April 12, 2022

     Last month, an expert in energy policy visited Lake Charles and shared a message for residents in both Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas.

     "We need help to get Washington to understand how important it is to develop our own energy resources and not have to be dependent upon countries like Russia,"  said Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President at the  Global Energy Institute/U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "We need help from real voices, real Louisianians and real Texans, for the word to get back to Washington D.C."     

     If you spend time surfing the Internet on issues of energy and national security, Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas news stories pop up regularly. This is especially true since Russia invaded Ukraine.

    The reason? Our areas along the Gulf coast are home to liquefied natural gas export facilities with others being planned. 

     Prior to the invasion of Ukraine, competition in the world market was fierce among LNG competitors. As well as it should be in a free market society. Once the war started and energy products from Russia became taboo, the economic and philosophical arguments to make America a clean energy-independent nation and provider to our allies have intensified.

     Guith regards the American LNG industry as an example of "unfulfilled potential."

     "America has more energy than we know what to do with. We need to help our own country and our allies around the world. We just need to have policies that foster development," he said.

     Advocates of American business are working hard to promote the natural gas industry and LNG exports. SWLA and SETEX residents share a culture, work ethic, and a stake in the natural gas/LNG sector and we all need to pay attention to what is occurring in the world and facts about the energy sector.

     According to the agency's data, natural gas usage impacts the economy:

  • Households that use natural gas save $900 a year on average.

  • Nearly 69 million homes are served by natural gas.

  • More than 5 million businesses use natural gas.

  • More than 185,400 factories in America use natural gas.

  • An estimated 3.4 million jobs in 2018 were connected to the direct use of natural gas.

  • Those jobs added $408 billion to the U.S. GDP.

  • Those jobs accounted for $152 billion in personal income.

     The agency argues that natural gas usage has a positive impact on the environment:

  • Between 2005 and 2018, the U.S power sector’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell 28 percent while the nation's electricity generation from natural gas more than doubled.

  • If the world switched to natural gas  CO2 emissions would drop as much as 50 percent when used for electricity.

  • If the world switched to natural gas CO2 emissions would drop up to 33 percent when used for heating.

  • Natural gas serves as a necessary backup for renewables, ramping up quickly when renewables like wind and solar are unavailable.

  • Without natural gas, the widespread implementation and use of renewables could be slower, more expensive, or result in unplanned outages.

     Guith wants locals to participate in the energy debate. He wants you to write or call Congressional members and support policies that will allow America’s energy resources to be used for us and the world.

     “We can do it and have the cleanest production in the world and help our economy and allies,” he said.

     To learn more about the Global Energy Institute and the policies it advocates for visit https://www.globalenergyinstitute.org/.

     The Alliance/Chamber SWLA encourages our Chamber family and the public to be informed on issues impacting all of our lives.


Eric Cormier serves as Vice President of Policy and Strategic Development at the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance. He can be contacted at 337-433-3632 or ecormier@allianceswla.org.

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