On August 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a replacement for Pres. Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which had aimed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from powerplants. Many people in the energy industry disliked Pres. Obama’s plan, but it is impossible to argue that the plan hurt the natural gas industry. Pres. Obama’s plan had three “building blocks,” which were used to set state-level, pollution-reduction goals. The first building block was improving the efficiency of coal fired powerplants, and the third was replacing coal-generated electricity with wind and solar.
The second building block of Pres. Obama’s Clean Power Plan was replacing coal-generated electricity with electricity from natural gas. Now, that requirement is out the window along with the rest of Pres. Obama’s plan. Pres. Trump’s plan is called ACE, or the Affordable Clean Energy rule. The ACE plan would focus on reducing emissions from specific powerplants, instead of reducing emissions at the state level. That means there will no longer be much of a regulatory incentive to shut down old coal plants and replace them with new natural gas plants.
Luckily for the natural gas industry, utilities have long been saying that they are switching from coal to natural gas and renewables regardless of Pres. Obama’s Clean Power Plan. For example, one industry insider said back in 2016 that “a lot of what we’re seeing now in the domestic utility fleet is occurring anyway.” Duke Energy, one of the country’s biggest utilities, was already projecting a massive shift towards natural gas regardless of the law. Duke got just 5% of its electricity from natural gas in 2005, but that was up to 28% in 2016 and is projected to reach 35% in 2026.
More and more of America’s electricity is coming from natural gas from the Marcellus shale, even without regulations forcing the switch. If you are interested in getting involved in the Marcellus, the experts at Cimmaron Land can help you with all of your land needs. Just call us at (412) 212-7517.