Every American’s lifestyle and personal safety are inseparably tied to energy from oil and natural gas. With this critical energy, we would lose the ability to heat our homes, clothe our families, utilize our smartphones and tablets, ship goods and materials, build homes, or rely on our world-class medical industry to care for us – to name a few.
In 2021, for example, natural gas provided 32% of the total energy consumed nationwide. Additionally, about one-third of the country’s electric power sector is supported by natural gas.
Equally important, natural gas and oil offer affordable, reliable, and increasingly environmentally responsible energy options.
Over the past 30+ years, industry and government leaders have focused on reducing methane emissions from oil and natural gas to continue the U.S.’s world-leading efforts to improve our environmental performance. Methane, a natural gas and oil component, is emitted during combustion. In 2021, oil and natural gas operations accounted for approximately 29% of U.S. methane emissions, while livestock processes and landfills contributed about 48% of overall methane emissions.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nationwide methane emissions decreased by 16% between 1990 and 2021.
More recently, states and the federal government have considered adding additional regulatory controls on methane. For example, states with considerable energy production, like New Mexico and Colorado, have implemented sensible, effective regulations. And currently, the U.S. EPA is considering additional methane regulations on top of and possibly contradicting state regulations.
Some have voiced concerns that these new federal regulations fail to fully consider that they could inadvertently limit oil and gas production into account. If negatively impacted, this could decrease the energy sector’s contributions, thus increasing energy prices (and products that rely on energy) and adding undue economic burden on American families and small businesses.
Regulatory overreach will result in mandating unnecessary and technologically questionable measures to reduce emissions. Americans with low or fixed incomes are more sensitive to these regulations. On average, each citizen spent $3,967 to meet their energy needs in 2021. For those struggling to make ends meet and living at or below the poverty line, this translates to almost a third of their income going toward energy expenses.
According to a survey by LendingTree, 34% of American households struggled to pay their energy bills to light, heat, and cool their homes. The survey found that these families reported reducing or forgoing basic necessities like food and medicine to pay an energy bill.