Government Leaders Attend Clean Energy Summit In Vegas

At a at Columbia University event on July 26, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz pointed out hydraulic fracturing’s central role in driving coal-to-gas switching in the power generation sector, the driving force behind faster-than-expect reductions in US carbon dioxide emissions. But he stressed that its climate benefits will not last indefinitely.

“Is natural gas part of the problem or part of the solution to climate change? Yes,” joked Moniz.

“Certainly in the near-term, and potentially for some years out, this substitution of natural gas for coal combustion without carbon capture would be a major contributor to reducing carbon emissions. But, in the longer term, assuming we are cranking down hard on carbon emissions, then eventually gas itself would have to have carbon capture, or it would be too carbon-intensive.”