Several States With Ambitious Climate Goals Will Have to Restrict Natural Gas as a Fuel

By Peter Fabris | January 15, 2020
Gas Burning Stove
gas burning from a kitchen gas stove By Dmitry Vereshchagin - Adobe Stock

Most of the 10 states that rely the most on natural gas or propane for heating and cooking have ambitious climate goals. Some aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as an 80% by 2050. “Combustion emissions produced within these jurisdictions suggest it will not be possible to meet climate goals without immediate and durable action on building fossil fuel use,” according to an article by the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Natural gas along with smaller amounts of oil and propane in buildings accounts for 10% of total US economy-wide emissions. Just 10 large states—most of which are in the Northeast— are responsible for 56% of those emissions.

Switching from fuel oil to gas reduces a home or business’s emissions by about 27%, or around 16% for propane. That’s not enough to reach carbon emission reduction goals. That means homes and businesses will have to switch to electric heat pump technology powered by electricity from renewable sources if states’ climate goals are to be met.

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