Because natural gas can generate electricity with 50% less CO2 than coal, the expanded use of natural gas could be a “game changer” for U.S. climate action.
However, the cap-and-trade bills now before the Congress do not give priority to increasing the power sector’s use of natural gas. We think that is a mistake and have developed a natgas incentive program that would address this shortcoming.
This program would enable Congress to accelerate CO2 emission reductions from capped emitters by awarding additional emission rights to parties that use natural gas in place of a higher carbon fuel. One ton of emission credits would be awarded for every net ton of CO2 emission reductions attributable to the substitution of natural gas, as compared to business as usual.
For more details about this cap-and-trade based incentive program, see this two page summary.
Several examples of how capped entities would earn emission credits for using natural gas can be found here.
The merits of using more natural gas to help the country meet the environmental objectives set by climate change legislation have been endorsed by the Center for American Progress, the WorldWatch Institute and the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, among others. The specific natgas incentive program developed by the Foundation has also won the support of America’s Natural Gas Alliance and the Natural Gas Supply Association.