API: Senate fighting yesterday’s battles with CPP vote

10/14/2019

WASHINGTON - This week, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will reportedly compel a vote to revert back to 2014's Clean Power Plan. However, U.S. CO2 emissions from the power sector have already plunged 27% from 2005 to 2018 – without the CPP’s implementation, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

“If senators want cleaner power, advocating for more natural gas-generated electricity would be a more effective route than generating more red tape,” wrote Scott Parker, rapid response & content manager at the API. “The actual aim of CPP – reducing CO2 emissions – is already occurring largely because of the increase in natural gas-generated electricity.”

Switching from coal-generated electricity to gas-generated electricity reduces emissions by 50% according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency.

As reported last week, demand for coal by the power sector is expected to plunge to a 42-year low by 2020, with a 27% decline in coal production since 2016 alone. Last year, The Washington Post cited the estimate that “....70 percent or 80 percent of the decline in coal is the result of competition" from affordable natural gas.

“It’s clear that this coal-to-gas switching is already producing positive results,” Parker wrote. EIA reports that natural gas was responsible for more CO2 emissions reductions in U.S. electricity generation than renewables between 2005-2017. Additionally:

IEA estimates that since 2010, coal-to-gas switching has avoided CO2 emissions that are equivalent to putting another 200 million electric vehicles on the road drawing on zero-carbon power during the same period.

Coal still generates 27% of America’s total electricity while emitting a dramatically disproportionate 65% of all electricity-related CO2 emissions. “That’s why the Senate would be better served by facilitating more natural gas power—a proven pathway to cleaner power—instead of resuscitating a regulatory proposal made superfluous by clean natural gas,” Parker wrote.

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