Energy Department: Oil, natural gas ‘integral’ to U.S. standard of living

October 13, 2020

Ohio Business Daily– A new report from the U.S. Department of Energy highlights the importance of oil and natural gas to the nation’s economy and national security.

“Together, oil and natural gas provide more than two-thirds of the energy Americans consume daily, and we will continue to rely on them in the future,” the report said. “…Oil and natural gas are integral to our standard of living in ways that are often not apparent.”

In the last two decades, advances in technology have led to a dramatic increase in U.S. domestic oil and natural gas production, it said.

“This increased production provides energy security and economic benefits to the entire country, and ongoing technology advances will help us to enjoy those benefits into the future,” the report said.

John Schlichter, executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, praised the report and the Department of Energy for encouraging oil and natural gas production.

“As a leading state in domestic energy production, Ohio is contributing to the shared, essential economic, environmental and national security benefits Americans enjoy,” he said in a release provided to Ohio Business Daily.

Shale development in the U.S. has helped create “affordable and reliable power, record-breaking carbon emission reductions, family sustaining wages, and a more secure nation,” Schlichter said. “That’s why Americans, and Ohioans specifically, overwhelmingly support the continued use of natural gas and oil.”

Polling from the Progressive Policy Institute found that voters in the state oppose a ban on natural gas by 53 points.

Natural gas and renewable sources such as wind and solar can complement each other, the report said.

Ten years ago, natural gas accounted for a fourth of the energy to operate electric power plants.

“Today, it provides nearly 40% and is expected to continue to claim this share for decades to come,” the report said. “While the share of power produced by renewable energy sources like solar and wind is expected to grow, these sources are intermittent.”

A solution is to install “fast-ramp-up natural gas power plants, which can be switched into the power generation system quickly whenever renewable generation slips,” the report recommended.

The natural gas backups can serve power plants until large-scale batteries are developed for power plants that store power generated by solar and wind, the study said.

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