New poll finds that nearly 70% of voters support increasing natural gas production

There is a broad consensus that voters want natural gas to be part of a steady transition to clean energy 

Among a number of pressing issues, this November American voters will decide on the direction of energy and climate policy for years to come. Over the past three plus years, the Biden Administration and Congress have pursued a climate agenda that prioritized reducing emissions. Yet Democratic policymakers have shied away from publicly supporting the primary driver behind U.S. emissions reductions – natural gas – for fear of alienating voters. 

The reality is voters across party lines overwhelmingly want natural gas to play a role in the energy transition. That’s what a new nationwide poll conducted by Democratic polling firm Impact Research and commissioned by the Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE) found. Ahead of the upcoming election, climate-minded candidates would be wise to consider where voters stand on natural gas as an energy and climate solution. 

The poll found that voters are increasingly pragmatic about the energy transition, as 76% of voters and 80% of Democrats want the country to steadily transition to clean energy by using all options currently available to keep energy affordable and reliable. The appeal of this approach is growing rapidly, with support for a steady transition climbing 11 percentage points today compared to 2022. 

But what do Americans mean by a “steady” transition? The poll overwhelmingly shows that voters want the steady transition to feature natural gas.

Nearly 70% of voters are in favor of increasing natural gas production, including majorities of Democrats (59%) and Independents (63%).

Moderate Democratic support for increased production has progressed the most, with net support growing 10 percentage points since 2022. Natural gas, only slightly behind renewables, such as solar (84%) and wind energy (78%), is the top energy source voters want to see used more, with 67% in favor of increased usage.  

Widespread support for natural gas also extends to exporting the fuel to our allies. More than half of all voters (58%) and Democrats (63%) say it’s important to support our allies by providing reliable energy exports of natural gas. In the same vein, there is net support (+12 overall / +13 Democrats) for increasing the exportation of American-produced natural gas to allied nations. 

This support for natural gas is driven by reliability and affordability being top of mind for voters. Reducing energy costs is a top priority for a majority of voters across party lines, including 62% of moderate Democrats and 58% of Independents. Additionally, nearly 60% of voters believe that strengthening U.S. energy independence is vital for energy policy.

The results are clear: Democrats must be willing to meet voters where they are on climate solutions, which include natural gas. Recent history suggests that failing to balance emissions with affordability and reliability hurts Democrats at the polls. For example, Democrats suffered historic election losses following the unsuccessful cap-and-trade bill of 2010. It was nearly a decade following those votes before a majority of voters supported ambitious climate legislation. 

By aligning with the majority of voters and advocating for reliable, affordable, and clean energy, our leaders can better position themselves to drive a successful long-term energy transition that reduces emissions, creates jobs, and strengthens the economy. 

Nationwide Poll Shows Bipartisan Consensus (69%) that Voters Support Increasing Natural Gas Production

Amid concerns about energy reliability and affordability, 76% of voters want a steady transition to clean energy by using all options currently available

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16, 2024 - A nationwide poll conducted by Democratic polling firm Impact Research finds bipartisan support for the increased production of natural gas, with 69% of all voters in favor and majorities of Democrats (59%), Independents (63%), and Republicans (85%). The poll also finds that three-quarters of voters overall want the country to steadily transition to clean energy by using all options currently available to keep energy affordable and reliable. This includes 80% of Democrats, which is a 7% increase since 2022.

The survey was commissioned by the Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE), a non-partisan coalition of like-minded organizations dedicated to reducing global emissions by promoting U.S. policies that protect the climate, strengthen the economy, lower energy costs, and bolster energy security through the production and export of cleaner natural gas.

“The message is clear: voters support natural gas as an energy source and want to see increased production. This poll demonstrates the salience of energy as an election issue for Americans, and candidates up and down the ballot should be focused on the solutions that the public supports,” said Chris Treanor, PAGE executive director. “By campaigning on and legislating for reliable, affordable, and clean energy, American policymakers can position our country to lead a successful long-term energy transition that reduces emissions, creates jobs, and strengthens the economy.”

Key findings from the nationwide poll of registered voters include:


Natural gas ranks top among energy sources just behind renewables.
Only slightly behind renewables, such as solar (84%) and wind energy (78%), natural gas is the top energy source voters want to see used more, with 67% in favor of increased usage.

Democrats’ support for natural gas production continues to climb.
Nearly 70% of voters support increasing natural gas production, including 59% of Democrats and with net support of more production increasing 10 points among moderate Democrats specifically since 2022.

Strengthening U.S. energy independence and reducing energy costs are the leading energy policy goals among American voters.
Reducing energy costs is a top priority for a majority of voters across party lines, including 62% of moderate Democrats and 58% of Independents. Additionally, nearly 60% of voters believe that strengthening U.S. energy independence is vital for energy policy.

Support for a steady clean energy transition that keeps energy affordable and reliable has increased since 2022.
Overall, voter preference for a steady clean energy transition has increased by 11%, from 65% in 2022 to 76% today. Among Democrats, preference for a steady transition has increased by 7%, from 73% in 2022 to 80%, but notably has increased by 9%, from 67% to 76%, among Democrats under 50 who are typically the most bullish on the transition to renewables.

A majority of voters believe it is important for the U.S. to support our Western Allies by providing reliable energy exports, and there is support for increasing natural gas exports.
More than half of all voters (58%) and Democrats (63%) say it’s important to support our allies by providing reliable energy exports of natural gas.In the same vein, there is net support (+12 overall / +13 Democrats) for increasing the exportation of American-produced natural gas to allied nations.


“This polling data reveals important insights as we near Election Day, showing broad bipartisan support for natural gas production – particularly among Democrats,” said Luke Martin, Vice President at Impact Research. “While reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change are priorities for Democrats, so is reducing energy costs. That’s why voters across the board favor a steady transition to cleaner energy that is both affordable and reliable, with natural gas as a key part of that solution.”

Impact Research’s survey was a nationwide poll of 1,000 registered voters with an over sample of 500 Democrats conducted between April 9-15, 2024. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 and +/- 3.5 for the overall Democratic sample.

About PAGE

The Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE) is a coalition of responsible energy companies, allied NGOs, labor unions and leading climate advocates dedicated to reducing global emissions by promoting U.S. policies that protect the climate, strengthen the economy, lower energy costs and bolster energy security through the production and export of cleaner natural gas. Learn more at https://www.pagecoalition.com/.

Download the Media Statement

Pausing Global Coal-to-Natural Gas Conversions Will Substantially Slow Pace of Emissions Reductions

It is imperative that the Energy Department reverse course and allow natural gas to continue as a driver of cleaner, more secure energy worldwide.

With global CO2 emissions rising, President Biden has rightfully adopted firm climate commitments through landmark legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act and notable executive actions on methane emissions. 

However, the Department of Energy's (DOE) recent decision to pause pending approvals of liquified natural gas (LNG) exports is contrary to this pattern of firm climate policy. Pausing U.S. LNG exports will force nations worldwide to turn to dirtier, less reliable forms of energy, such as coal, making it increasingly difficult to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.   

The administration says the pause is to study natural gas's climate impacts, but gas has already proven to be a climate solution. Delaying our exports will force our allies to look elsewhere to meet their energy needs, which is why the administration must reverse course and allow natural gas to continue to be the driver of cleaner, more secure energy on a global scale. 

New research from the International Energy Agency shows coal-to-gas switching was the most significant driver behind U.S. energy sector emissions reductions in 2023.

U.S. natural gas is the cleanest, most reliable baseload energy source  

The U.S. has provided a model showing that phasing out dirty coal-fired power plants and replacing them with low-carbon natural gas is a pivotal part of the global energy transition. 

New research from the International Energy Agency shows coal-to-gas switching was the most significant driver behind U.S. energy sector emissions reductions in 2023. Coal-to-gas switching has also helped the U.S. reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% over the last two decades.  

The natural gas industry is also making rapid progress in reducing methane emissions, cementing natural gas's role in the energy transition. The sector is proving it's taking methane seriously, leading to a 23% reduction in U.S. energy industry methane emissions from 2020 through 2022. Only an additional 7% decline is needed by 2030 to meet the global methane pledge. 

This methane progress is only growing natural gas's positive climate impact. It builds on the DOE's 2019 study, which concluded that the life cycle emissions of U.S. LNG exports to Europe and Asia are lower than those of regional coal and Russian gas. 

The natural gas export pause will harm allies 

Despite the clear environmental benefits of increasingly low-carbon natural gas, Biden’s pause on LNG exports makes it exceedingly difficult to achieve our global climate goals. 

Without a reliable energy supply, our allies could once again become dependent on dirtier, less secure, and less reliable energy from undemocratic countries like Russia, Iran, and Qatar. This situation has already proven true with a resurgence in global coal use, with Germany and other EU members activating once-dormant coal plants to ensure stable energy supplies.  

Without natural gas, we cannot facilitate the clean energy transition 

Another key ramification of the pause is that it will significantly impact the developing world's decarbonization ability. According to McKinsey & Company, combating climate change is likely only possible if developing countries achieve clean, low-carbon economies. These changes can also help generate increased capital and economic opportunities in these regions.

To help facilitate a just and global clean energy transition, the Biden Administration has invested over $200 million to expand access to renewable energy in Africa. While these efforts are laudable, renewables alone cannot generate the baseload of energy the countries need. Furthermore, developing countries need approximately $1.7 trillion annually worth of renewable energy investments, making natural gas a far more financially feasible option. 

The science is clear—U.S. natural gas is a crucial emissions reduction driver and is critical to achieving the world's climate goals.

These shortcomings have been notable in countries like China, where declining hydropower production due to droughts has brought about a resurgence in coal use, thereby diminishing other progress on renewables. Today, China emits the most energy-related CO2 emissions globally and could remain in that position through 2050 as it doubles down on coal. 

The good news is that natural gas is the ideal complement to renewables to facilitate the energy transition. Together, their energy outputs ensure stable production flows while providing both developed and developing countries access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy. 

The bottom line

The science is clear—U.S. natural gas is a crucial emissions reduction driver and is critical to achieving the world's climate goals. However, the Biden Administration has implemented an energy policy that will counter the very goals it has committed to achieving. 

By expanding natural gas production and sending it to coal-reliant regions, we can export a proven climate solution to the world. 

PAGE Responds to U.S. House Considering a LNG Export License Pause Reversal in Foreign Aid Packages

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 17, 2024) – Today, Executive Director of Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE) Chris Treanor issued the below statement in response to recent reports that U.S. House leaders may include a provision to end the Department of Energy’s (DOE) liquefied natural gas (LNG) export license approval pause along with foreign aid packages:

The Administration is rightfully urging Congress to pass foreign aid funding that supports our allies against ongoing aggression from adversaries. However, the effort to restore peace is incomplete without ensuring global energy security.

Including a provision that ends the LNG export license approval pause is vital for U.S. foreign policy and climate goals: it ensures the continued delivery of LNG exports to our allies, so they are less reliant on authoritarian regimes for energy and do not backslide into dirtier energy sources – like coal and Russian and Iranian gas. LNG export growth since 2016 has reduced emissions, created jobs and kept prices low, making the pause an unnecessary interruption to wait for public impact that is already well-established.

PAGE strongly urges Congress to include a provision reversing the LNG export license approval pause in legislation that provides foreign aid to our allies. We will remain actively engaged with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and the Administration to advance a bipartisan solution that protects our allies from military and energy aggression.

About PAGE 

The Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE) is a coalition of responsible energy companies, allied NGOs, labor unions and leading climate advocates dedicated to reducing global emissions by promoting U.S. policies that protect the climate, strengthen the economy, lower energy costs and bolster energy security through the production and export of cleaner natural gas.

Download this Media Statement

Comparative GHG Footprint Analysis for European and Asian Supplies of USLNG, Pipeline Gas, and Coal

The BRG Energy & Climate practice (BRG E&C) has undertaken an independent life cycle analysis (LCA) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of US liquefied natural gas (USLNG) and competing fossil fuels used for power generation in 13 destination markets.

Read the Full Report

Irrational energy policy puts U.S. national security in jeopardy

By reducing the availability of U.S. LNG, our allies will become dependent on less secure, dirtier energy from undemocratic countries.

Amid outbreaks of violence in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, President Biden is rightfully urging foreign aid to secure the sovereignty of our allies and, by extension, the safety of the American people. This commitment to international stability is laudable. 

However, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent decision to pause pending approvals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities is in direct conflict with this goal, possibly leaving our allies reliant on authoritarian regimes for energy. In this way, energy policy is foreign policy, and the U.S. is contradicting itself and ceding American leadership by empowering the same adversaries it is trying to push back on.

The impacts of the pause are profound, as two-thirds of the world's economically recoverable gas is in just four countries: Russia, Iran, Qatar, and the U.S. 

Just days after the pause, Qatar announced it would expand its LNG production. Now, market experts predict that the country could control a nearly 25% share of the global market and squeeze out projects from the U.S. Consequently, our allies could become dependent on dirtier, less secure, and less reliable energy from undemocratic countries.

This pause is anything but rational – it is not based on science, it compromises our national security, and it puts our allies at the mercy of authoritarian powers. 

Seemingly overnight, we have damaged our global reputation by allowing our adversaries to gain the upper hand. The Biden administration must recognize the repercussions of this misguided policy and change course before it’s too late. 

Not only does this risk destabilizing Europe’s highly volatile energy market, but it fundamentally damages our reputation as a reliable, consistent energy partner abroad.

Europe's energy security is on the line

Europe’s energy crisis over the last two years shows what happens when our allies depend on tyrants like Vladimir Putin to meet their energy needs. Following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. supplied the EU with 40% of its LNG imports after Putin cut off gas supplies to the continent. 

While many Democrats initially supported this policy, support has declined recently under the assumption that Europe no longer needs our help, and that current U.S. production is overshooting waning demand. 

However, the job of securing Europe’s energy is unfinished, as 20% of Europe’s gas still comes from Russia and Qatar. 

Meanwhile, European energy ministers are renewing measures to keep natural gas demand 15% below pre-invasion levels. If Europe’s LNG demand increases due to environmental factors, such as a return to average winter temperatures, this policy will create severe geopolitical risks. European countries may even have to divert economic resources from supporting Ukraine to make up for higher energy prices. 

Not only does this risk destabilizing Europe’s highly volatile energy market, but it fundamentally damages our reputation as a reliable, consistent energy partner abroad. Consequently, we risk once again conceding Europe’s energy supplies to Putin, allowing him to continue to fund his war in Ukraine. 

China has impeded the Philippines' efforts to explore potential gas fields in the West Philippine Sea. This situation may force the Philippine government to negotiate with Xi Jinping instead of working with the U.S. to compensate for the energy deficit.

The U.S. is the global guarantor of energy security

The Biden administration’s pause on LNG exports will affect our allies in Europe and ripple across the rest of the world. EU officials have recognized that the U.S. is the “global guarantor of energy security” and have underscored that its responsibility goes beyond Europe.

In Japan, the world’s second-largest purchaser of LNG, the government expects the pause to delay the start of new LNG production from the U.S. and ultimately compromise the country’s energy security. 

The pause has also put the Philippines on the verge of an energy crisis. The country is already anticipating declines in its local gas fields, which supply a significant portion of its fuel.

China has impeded the Philippines' efforts to explore potential gas fields in the West Philippine Sea. This situation may force the Philippine government to negotiate with Xi Jinping instead of working with the U.S. to compensate for the energy deficit. 

Ultimately, U.S. LNG exports solve our Asian allies’ energy security challenges. While some members of Congress believe that U.S. gas provides adversaries like China with an affordable energy supply, the reality is that China’s energy consumption and industrial growth are inevitable. 

It is also far more advantageous for China to rely on American energy than for our allies to depend on Beijing to keep their lights on with carbon-intensive Chinese coal. 

We need energy policies that protect our national security

The Biden administration has left our allies stranded. They disregarded foreign policy experts and wielded U.S. energy policy to appeal to a vocal minority. 

Our reputation is on the line, and the American people deserve better. That is why the Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE) is maintaining its course in fighting for responsible energy policies that support our allies and protect national security.  

Responding to the President Biden’s State of the Union Remarks, PAGE Reaffirms Climate Benefits of U.S. LNG Exports, Calls for Biden Administration to End ‘LNG Pause’

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 7, 2024) – Today, the Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE) issued the below statement in response to President Biden’s State of the Union address and the exclusion of the Administration’s LNG export pause in his remarks:

The Biden Administration’s recent decision to pause all pending LNG export facilities was not mentioned in tonight’s speech – likely due to significant concerns about the pause from fellow Democrats and allies.

While PAGE agrees with the Administration that climate, energy security and economic considerations each play a pivotal role in forming rational energy policy, the LNG export approval pause is a misguided decision. The pause faces bipartisan opposition, including from Democratic members across both chambers who are publicly pushing back on the Administration and voicing their concerns about the harm created by the pause.

The reality is the Administration’s indefinite moratorium relies on assumed results rather than actual evidence. In fact, LNG export growth since 2016 has led to positive progress on each of the issues that the Department of Energy (DOE) is studying, making it clear that this decision puts politics before science. 

The DOE’s own 2019 analysis concluded that the life cycle emissions of U.S. LNG exports to Europe and Asia are lower than regional coal and Russian gas on both a 20-year and 100-year basis. And new research from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows coal-to-gas switching was once again the largest driver behind U.S. energy sector emissions reductions in 2023. Halting exports could rob other countries of continuing to make significant emissions reductions like we have made in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the rapid increase in LNG exports has not driven up domestic prices. Natural gas averaged $2.57 per MMBtu on the Henry Hub in 2023, well below the 2010–2015 (pre-LNG exports) average of $3.64 per MMBtu. And despite record exports this year, natural gas prices are at their lowest level since LNG exports began.

This pause is also actively damaging trust among our closest allies. Nearly 15% of Europe’s gas still comes from Russia, which will not be fully displaced until we commit to providing them a more stable and secure supply of energy. Japanese public officials and utilities also expressed concern and surprise, further impacting our credibility among trusted global partners. 

The evidence is clear. U.S. LNG exports increase energy security and reduce emissions while maintaining low prices. The DOE is doing its job by renewing its study, but pausing export approvals before that study is complete is irresponsible and damaging to our collective goals and reputation right now.

PAGE urges the Biden Administration to reconsider and end the pause. We will remain actively engaged with Democratic members of Congress who represent constituents directly impacted by the approval pause and look to advance a compromise solution to reverse it. 

About PAGE 

The Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE) is a coalition of responsible energy companies, allied NGOs, labor unions and leading climate advocates dedicated to reducing global emissions by promoting U.S. policies that protect the climate, strengthen the economy, lower energy costs and bolster energy security through the production and export of cleaner natural gas. Learn more at https://www.pagecoalition.com/.

Download the Media Statement

Pausing LNG export approvals will carry long-term risks for our allies and ability to meet global climate goals

The Biden Administration’s pause on LNG exports will place our allies at the mercy of authoritarian regimes and won’t advance the fight against climate change

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has paused approvals of liquified natural gas (LNG) export facilities, injecting insecurity into global energy markets and jeopardizing the goals of the landmark COP28 climate agreement signed in December. That agreement recognized that natural gas is essential to the worldwide energy transition by providing a cleaner fuel source than coal while providing critical energy security.  

Unfortunately, this decision is not based on science and will have unintended impacts on the climate. It will also cut off our allies as they seek secure, less carbon-intensive energy sources to keep their lights on. The Washington Post Editorial Board sees this decision for what it is, "It's an election-year sop to climate activists that will do much more to unsettle vital US alliances than to save the planet." 

Pausing LNG exports will resurface global energy insecurity 

The rise of global instability in recent years has shown that the world lacks sufficient access to reliable, affordable, and cleaner sources that can adequately replace coal power generation, the largest source of power-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. If we restrict our gas exports, we'll leave our allies vulnerable to dirtier forms of energy, such as coal, and to many of the worst actors on the world stage.  

Two-thirds of the world's economically recoverable gas is in just four countries: Russia, Iran, Qatar, and the U.S. When Russia weaponized its reserves after invading Ukraine – beginning with cutting off its gas supply to Europe – the U.S. quickly stepped forward and supplied LNG to replace methane-intensive Russian gas. This support to our allies accounted for 40% of EU LNG imports in 2022. The New York Times reported that European allies are worried that this decision can undermine their progress to wean themselves off Russian gas.  

The Biden Administration's pause on LNG exports has the potential to resurface the kind of global energy instability we saw following the war in Ukraine. If we restrict our gas exports, our allies will be at the mercy of authoritarian regimes like Putin's.  

Increasing LNG exports helps keep energy prices low at home and abroad 

PAGE and its members share the DOE's goal of ensuring affordable and stable energy prices for Americans. However, the pause of LNG exports could devastate the buildout of much-needed infrastructure to ensure Americans have reliable access to energy.  

The conjecture that LNG exports drive up US energy prices is also inaccurate. According to the Center for Strategic and International Affairs (CSIS),increased U.S. LNG exports have not affected energy prices at home over the past five years.  

LNG can help phase out foreign coal and achieve our climate goals 

U.S. LNG also helped stabilize gas and electricity prices for customers in Europe. A pause or restriction of U.S. LNG capabilities risks destabilizing gas markets in Europe and beyond, undoing years of responsible energy policy.  

Halting LNG exports will likely result in a continued increase in foreign coal. In 2021, coal accounted for 44% of emissions from fuel combustion while only comprising 27% of the total energy supply. By comparison, gas' share (22%) was lower than its supply (24%). 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) also reports that coal production is responsible for more methane than gas. Chinese coal production alone emits 15% of the world's energy-sector methane. This dwarfs LNG liquefaction and shipping methane emissions, which comprise just 0.3%. Meanwhile, Germany and other EU members have activated once-dormant coal plants to ensure their economies have enough energy to support their citizens during peak demand this winter. 

The pause of LNG exports will only exacerbate this trend and likely make achieving the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement unfeasible.  

The Bottom Line 

Energy security, cost, and climate action are all critical factors for achieving a sustainable global energy transition. Meeting a strict regulatory process and being produced and transported by responsible companies, U.S. natural gas is the only pragmatic solution to stabilize the energy landscape.  

The Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE) strongly opposes the Biden Administration's unfortunate decision and vows to continue fighting for responsible energy policies that protect national security and advance climate solutions.  

Bipartisan event confirms natural gas is an integral part of the clean energy transition

Permitting reform can unlock the potential of U.S. LNG to achieve our collective energy and climate goals

At COP28 in Dubai, the Partnership to Address Global Emissions (PAGE) spread awareness about natural gas’ potential to decarbonize the world by replacing dirty coal-fired power plants.  

These efforts had an impact as world leaders, for the first time, called for investment in transition fuels, such as natural gas, among other priorities in addressing climate change. In fact, the final agreement that leaders forged acknowledges this directly, recognizing “that transitional fuels can play a role in facilitating the energy transition while ensuring energy security.”   

After COP28 solidified the consensus for pragmatic decarbonization, Congressional, industry, and labor leaders convened in Washington D.C. to discuss the action needed by the U.S. to meet their global obligations to reduce emissions. Through a panel discussion focused on “Perspectives from COP28: A Monumental Moment to Reach Climate Goals,” permitting reform was highlighted as the key to unlocking the potential of U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) to provide energy security and achieve our collective climate goals.  

Natural gas as a clean energy solution 

Some advocates have argued that renewables are the only solution for reducing emissions. While renewables are noteworthy successes, they cannot generate the baseload energy we need without support from more reliable energy sources such as natural gas. Scott Peters (D-CA) agrees that “the promise to eliminate fossil fuels is aspirational, not operational” and that we need to focus on reducing emissions through a pragmatic approach. 

Natural gas can complement and is critical in assisting the buildout of renewables. As Toby Rice, President and CEO of EQT noted, “people are recognizing that wind and solar are not enough. They are great solutions, but they need heavyweight support. And the heavyweight support is natural gas replacing foreign coal.” 

The environmental benefits of coal-to-gas switching are clear. Natural gas produces half the amount of CO2 per unit of energy than coal does when burned, making it an ideal near-term energy solution. John Curtis (R-UT) recognizes these benefits, stating that “until we turn our discussion to reducing emissions and not reducing choices, you’re just not going to make progress.” 

In fact, the U.S. has experienced a remarkable 17% decline in GHG emissions over the past 15 years, with 65% of all power sector emissions reductions due to coal-to-gas-switching. But we cannot achieve our global climate goals without replacing the dirtiest coal plants worldwide, which is why we must look beyond our borders and export more LNG to our allies in need.  

According to Alan Armstrong, President and CEO of Williams, “our goal should be to reduce emissions and that is what we are focused on across the pipeline industry and the gas production industry. It’s clear that natural gas, in partnership with renewables and alongside bipartisan permitting reform, is key to a lower-carbon energy system.” 

The rise of coal power generation 

The rise of global coal use makes U.S. LNG exports even more imperative. In 2022, global coal consumption rose by 3.3% to 8.3 billion tonnes, a new all-time high. China and India have seen the most significant increase in coal use, while several European countries have reopened once dormant coal plants to ensure they have enough energy for the winter. 

Without U.S. LNG, our allies will be forced to rely on energy resources from less stable and undemocratic energy hubs such as China, Russia, Iran, and Qatar. This not only is a direct threat to our allies, but it also jeopardizes our own national security. To maintain energy superiority over our adversaries, we’re going to need permitting reform to revamp our production capabilities. 

We need permitting reform to achieve our energy and climate goals 

“Permitting reform is going to be absolutely critical for achieving all these goals that we’re talking about,” says Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. That’s because today energy projects can take years to receive approval, and endless red tape and lawsuits are further delaying and even sometimes preventing the development of critical pipeline infrastructure all together.  

This puts us “at a competitive disadvantage” says David Valadao (R-CA) and makes it “impossible for us to produce because either our energy prices are too high, or we just can’t get the energy to those factories.” 

We need Washington to finally prioritize permitting reform so we’re able to provide the energy our allies around the world desperately need. “Permitting reform cannot be partisan and it should not be partisan,” argues Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA). “We need to move forward quickly on that issue as well as talking about grid reliability.” And “if we don’t have permitting reform,” says Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), “if we don’t have infrastructure built for the transmission lines, it doesn’t matter everything else that we’re doing.”  

The solution to addressing the climate crisis and restoring energy security is at our fingertips, we just need to utilize our resources. “There’s an urgency to this that we need to underscore,” says Mary Landrieu (D-LA).” There are a lot of good ideas on the table, but we must do this on a scale and at a speed never been done before. This is about American leadership, and this is about Congressional leadership.” 

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