Natural gas helped Pennsylvania reach clean power plan goals

February 27, 2019. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell said during a recent state hearing that natural gas has helped Pennsylvania to meet its Clean Power Plan goals.

   “We were already well on our way in large part – and have actually since met what were proposed Clean Power Plan goals – primarily because of the shift toward cleaner natural gas,” McDonnell said.

   The Appalachian Basin, which includes Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, accounted for 18 percent of total U.S. carbon emissions reductions and 21.5 percent of total U.S. carbon emissions reductions for electricity generation from 2005 to 2015, according to the most recent Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. Pennsylvania’s overall carbon emissions fell by more than 17 percent and carbon emissions from electricity generation decrease by approximately 30 percent from 2005 to 2015.

   Pennsylvania is the nation’s second largest producer of natural gas. EIA projects that the state will produce approximately 31.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily in February.

   McDonnell also discussed how encouraging more compressed natural gas vehicles could further reduce emissions. The DEP recently announced more than $2.6 million in funding for natural gas vehicle programs.