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The Role of Natural Gas in America’s Energy Mix
Our nation’s top energy priority must be the rapid expansion of energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. These are the quickest, cleanest, and most sustainable solutions to meeting our energy needs, while curbing global warming and other serious pollution problems. As we work to increase renewable and more efficient energy, however, more damaging energy sources—including fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas—will continue to play a role in our energy mix. Because power plants burning natural gas produce less air pollution than coal-burning plants, in the near term natural gas can actually serve to diminish a number of public health threats caused by generating electricity. To achieve this, though, sound policies must be in place to make certain that natural gas is used to replace coal and minimize methane emissions—a potent global warming pollutant—and does not displace investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.