Policy Solutions

All Policy Documents Tagged natural gas

Environmental Risks with Proposed Offshore Oil and Gas Development off Alaska’s North Slope
Issue Paper
In August 2012, Royal Dutch Shell Oil (Shell) plans to begin exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northern coast. This paper argues that drilling and related industrial activity would create an unacceptable risk of irreparable damage to this unique part of the planet and should be postponed until comprehensive research can be performed and a credible system for responding to spills is put into place.
In Fracking's Wake
New Rules are Needed to Protect Our Health and Environment from Contaminated Wastewater
Issue Paper
Natural gas development has exploded, fueled by advances in an extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Unfortunately, federal and state safeguards to protect people and the environment from the hazards of fracking have not kept pace.
The Role of Natural Gas in America’s Energy Mix
Fact Sheet
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. Get document in pdf.
Reducing the Need for U.S. Drilling Through Energy Efficiency
Fact Sheet
The toll from the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is devastating. Nearly 4 million barrels of oil have poured into Gulf waters,1 destroying fragile marine and coastal ecosystems and inflicting untold economic damages on businesses and residents in the Gulf region. The effects of this spill -- one of the largest in history -- will be felt for generations. Get document in pdf.
Finding the Balance: The Role of Natural Gas in America’s Energy Future
Fact Sheet
By helping the United States reduce its carbon pollution and begin the transition to a sustainable energy future, the efficient use of natural gas can play an important role in meeting America’s energy needs while slowing our contributions to climate change. Recent developments in technology have increased access to natural gas supplies stretching from New York to Texas. Yet, burning natural gas without emission controls creates carbon emissions that ultimately will be too high in relation to America’s need to reduce emissions 80 percent or more by mid-century. In addition, as drilling moves into more communities, many people have become concerned about the negative impacts drilling will have on their lives. Comprehensive regulations ensuring that drilling occurs safely and only in appropriate places can provide a critical vehicle to allow natural gas to fulfill its valuable role in America’s energy future. Get document in pdf.
Protecting New Yorkers’ Health and the Environment by Regulating Drilling in the Marcellus Shale
Fact Sheet
With rising energy costs and fears of more volatility in the future, the natural gas industry is now searching for additional fuel sources. One such source is the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale, an ancient rock formation that spans 600 miles and four states, including New York. While there may be benefits to drilling this large natural gas reserve, doing so without the proper monitoring and regulation by state and local officials will present a number of serious threats to human health and the environment in New York State. NRDC is therefore working with leaders across the state to ensure that if drilling in the Marcellus Shale occurs in New York, it will be done responsibly and only in appropriate areas. This fact sheet includes recommendations for action you can take to help ensure that gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale does not proceed in New York without full protections for New Yorkers’ health and the environment.
Get document in pdf.
Picking a Clean Energy Plan
NRDC's Plug-In Alternative is More Efficient than the Pickens Plan
Fact Sheet
From oil price volatility to global warming and national security concerns, it is clear that our current reliance on oil is unsustainable. Even oil industry veteran T. Boone Pickens has proposed a plan (the “Pickens Plan”) to rapidly reduce oil dependency by increasing wind power and using natural gas to power vehicles. NRDC agrees with the urgency behind the Pickens Plan and supports the broad expansion of clean, renewable electricity. But the Pickens Plan does not contemplate the full range of options. We believe that pursuing the best outcome rather than preselected technologies will reveal more effective ways to put our natural gas resources to work. As one example, we examine here an alternative proposal, “The Plug-in Alternative,” that would get the most mileage out of our renewable and clean-burning energy sources while sharply reducing our dependence on dirtier sources like oil and coal. Get document in pdf.
Drilling Down
Protecting Western Communities from the Health and Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Production
Report
Oil and gas production releases pollution that can have serious impacts on people's health and the surrounding air, water, and land. Although these operations are frequently located near homes, schools, and other community resources, the oil and gas industry enjoys numerous exemptions from provisions of federal laws intended to protect human health and the environment.
Safeguarding Alaska's Arctic Wilderness
Index
Oil and gas drilling, coal mining and invasive development are combining with global warming's effects to wreak havoc on Alaska's vast, remote Arctic landscape. NRDC is working with Alaskan Native communities to protect this wilderness area and the whales, bears and other diverse wildlife that depend on it.

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Recent Legislative Fact Sheets

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
Senator Markey's legislation to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and standalone Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) would put in place key tools in the fight to address dangerous climate change. In order to meet our...
It's Time to Build an Economy that is Stronger, Cleaner, Healthier, and Made to Last
Clean energy and energy efficiency have provided a robust source for economic growth and innovation during difficult times and we should not reverse course. The impending budget sequester and expiring tax incentives will significantly reduce...
State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison
This analysis provides a comprehensive comparison of existing disclosure requirements for states with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. It finds more than half of the states with hydraulic fracturing activity currently have no...

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