Ahead of a Group of Seven (G7) meeting in Japan, G7 officials gathered for a ministerial meeting to discuss economic, trade, and environmental issues. On Sunday, April 16, news broke attendees had agreed to an official communique that participating nations would set higher targets for renewable energy sources and a quicker phase-out of fossil fuels.
The G7 document came after weeks of negotiations between the host nation, Japan, and other G7 countries. Reuters reported in the weeks leading up to the communique, Japan was pushing for language calling for “necessary upstream investments in LNG and natural gas” – a logical request given the nation’s domestic energy inflation and growing chaos in global markets.
But before the final communique was released, the G7 reportedly removed pro-natural gas comments and replaced them with language seeking to actually cut natural gas.
If the Biden Administration was serious about tackling global emissions, they would be doing everything possible to increase production of domestic natural gas and build international support for exports of US natural gas to displace coal use around the globe, which is the single largest source of global emissions.
US producers supplied half of Europe’s LNG in 2022 to help alleviate their reliance on Russian natural gas. As our allies in Europe and around the world want to reduce their reliance on Russia or transition away from coal, demand for US natural gas is expected to grow.
The US produces enough natural gas to meet domestic needs while also providing reliable energy to allies and trading partners. The United States consumed 88.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas in 2022, compared to the 100 billion cubic feet per day that the US produced, allowing for 10.6 billion cubic feet per day to be exported last year. Our ability to produce, liquify, and move large amounts of natural gas to our allies ensures there is more supply available in the global markets to meet demands for affordable, reliable, and clean US energy supplies.
Not only would increasing US production support reducing global emissions, but it would also fill necessary energy needs with natural gas produced under some of the most stringent safety and environmental standards in the world. Instead, they are penalizing our economic growth and global energy security by imposing costly new rules and regulations on American families and energy producers that will hurt us in the long run. Examples include the CEQ NEPA guidance that deliberately tips the scales in favor of renewables by adding new regulatory burdens for oil and natural gas, while exempting value chain analysis for renewables, and the recent natural gas tax in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that increases household energy bills across the country.
We need policy leaders that understand the important role that made-in-America energy plays in global economics, geopolitics, and energy security. And we need consistent support for our energy across the globe.
Instead, we have leaders who are ignoring our allies’ calls for affordable and reliable US natural gas to support their energy needs.