Energy & Infrastructure

More pipelines make fight against climate change more effective

Staff Reports

The Regulatory Review, a publication of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, published an article outlining how more pipelines and electricity transmission lines would make the fight against climate change more effective.

Author Richard J. Pierce, Jr., of George Washington University Law School writes that it is impossible to engage in effective mitigation of climate change without constructing new gas pipelines and electricity transmission lines.

He writes, “Electric generating plants account for 38 percent of carbon dioxide emissions—the most significant of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Because there is no economically viable method of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide from combustion of any carbon-based fuel, the only viable method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from generating plants is through fuel switching, where plants substitute natural gas for coal.”

Over the last three years, the United States has enjoyed more success in reducing carbon dioxide emissions than has any other country thanks to the effectiveness of fuel switching.

He continues, “The United States’ ability to maintain or exceed its remarkable record of emissions reductions depends critically on the construction of many natural gas pipelines and electricity transmission lines. The United States can only maintain or increase its rate of substitution of natural gas for coal by constructing the pipelines that will allow it to transport newly discovered gas supplies to generating plants.”

Read the full article here