As policy makers focus their attention this week on growing U.S. natural gas supplies and concerns over “fracking” methods used to produce shale gas, the Progressive Policy Institute is pushing the debate forward with a new policy paper on natural gas and a high-profile forum of leaders from the White House, Congress, the natural gas industry, the manufacturing sector, and the environmental community.
Natural Gas Reconsidered, PPI’s new policy memo, explains how recent technological innovations have dramatically changed the supply picture for natural gas as a domestic energy resource, and it maps out policy options for taking advantage of this huge “windfall” to bring real benefits to the energy industry, the manufacturing sector, and the job-starved U.S. economy. Roger Cooper, a seasoned policy expert on natural gas with over two decades of experience, authored the memo for PPI.
Now that we have unlocked enormous gas reserves here in the United States, it’s critical that progressives rethink the vision of natural gas as a temporary “bridge fuel” in overly optimistic promises of a renewables-only energy future. As Cooper argues, “It no longer makes sense to treat natural gas as just another dirty fossil fuel that the United States should stop burning as soon as we can find a feasible replacement. ... Given that gas is abundant and cleaner than coal and oil, we should regard it instead as a permanent pillar of America’s long-term energy strategy.”
PPI will discuss this new memo and other important gas issues tomorrow at a forum we’ve titled “The Natural Gas Revolution: Promise and Pitfalls.” Joining us will be White House advisor Heather Zichal, U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Penn.), and President of the American Gas Association David McCurdy, along with Roger Cooper and a panel of experts. Registration for the event is already full, but there will be a live webcast beginning at 10 a.m.
I hope you will read this important policy memo and we welcome your reactions.