The President’s decision shines a bright light on natural gas. The shale gas revolution has done more for the environment than any government policy. In 2009, the United States pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. This pledge was conditioned on the U.S. Congress passing cap-and-trade legislation. That law was never passed, but the U.S. is on track to hit the 2020 goals anyways.
In fact, the U.S. has reduced emissions more than the European Union, which did enact strict controls. American cut its emissions with cheap natural gas that took market share away from coal in electricity generation. Gas produces far less carbon (and other pollutants) than coal. When Pres. Obama did finally enact wide-scale carbon regulations, his Clean Power Plan, it explicitly encouraged switching from coal to natural gas in electricity generation. Now, without the Paris agreement or the Clean Power Plan that Pres. Trump intends to overturn, there is some question as to what role natural gas will play in the future.
Ohio is an interesting test case. Ohio currently has eight coal fired power plants, and had nine in 2010. Gas plants in the state have grown, meanwhile, from 32 in 2010 to 46 today. Since 2011 more than $38 billion has been invested in Ohio to drill and produce gas from the Utica Shale, while another $8 billion went into pipelines (and related infrastructure) and $3 billion went into new gas plants. Another surge of investment is coming through now. At this point, it seems likely that regardless of any regulatory changes coal will continue to struggle while natural gas thrives.
If your company would like to begin or expand exploration and production in Ohio, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia, contact the experts at Cimmaron Land.