Saturday, December 12, 2009

NGO Says Natural Gas Provides New Option for Immediate U.S. Carbon Cuts

/PRNewswire/ -- The American Clean Skies Foundation (ACSF), together with the UN Foundation and the Worldwatch Institute, today hosted a major side event in Copenhagen focusing on the ways natural gas -- and, in particular, the discovery of vast reserves of unconventional, or shale gas -- can accelerate the transition to a global low-carbon economy. Natural gas can generate electricity with 50-70 percent less CO(2) than coal per BTU. As is the case in the U.S., many other countries have also recently discovered very large new unconventional reserves of natural gas, primarily in deeply buried shale rock formations.

At the side event, ACSF released a comprehensive new working paper entitled "North America's New Natural Gas Resources and their Potential Impact on Energy and Climate Security." The paper shows why natural gas offers an immediate opportunity for climate action and describes the necessary U.S. legislative policies for pursuing this option. It is authored jointly by ACSF's CEO, Gregory C. Staple, a respected climate policy expert, and Dr. Joel L. Swerdlow, author of the noted National Geographic Society Book titled Nature's Medicine. Copies can be obtained from the Foundation at http://www.cleanskies.org/new-energy/. Event details can be found at www.cleanskies.org/pdf/acsf-agenda-121209.pdf

The Chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp., Aubrey K. McClendon, who also serves as Chairman of ACSF, and Mr. Staple offered the following statements:

"We are in the midst of a natural gas renaissance in the United States -- a renaissance that gives the U.S. an unprecedented means to demonstrate global economic and environmental leadership because gas is a much lower carbon fuel than coal or oil. The U.S. boom in shale gas production also provides a historic opportunity to unite the business and environmental communities, since it may create hundreds of thousands of new jobs while producing large environmental benefits.

There is no longer any debate about natural gas supply in America: we have an abundance of natural gas. Big shale plays have become a key part of America's effort to gain a much greater degree of energy security, and we hope that in the next decade shale gas will also help Europe and Asia do likewise. What we need now is the political will to make sure that natural gas-based fuel switching is a leading part of our country's CO(2) reduction strategy. The more successful we are at producing shale gas in North America, the more likely it is that the U.S. and the world will have a new roadmap for energy and climate security."

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