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2 MIN   |  Economy

3 Charts Showing American Natural Gas is Keeping Energy Affordable

The cleaner, abundant resource has made prices plunge

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February 25, 2021

Natural gas has changed how we power the nation. Formed deep below the earth’s surface, it’s found in a variety of places across the U.S. and worldwide. It is the source of 38% of electricity generation in the America, making it the leading source for electricity generation, ahead of coal, nuclear, hydro, solar and wind power.

Natural gas, a cleaner source of energy, has helped to bring U.S. carbon emissions down to their lowest point in a generation. It’s also helping keep energy prices low for Americans at a time when many are struggling financially.

Here are three charts exploring the connection between America’s natural gas revolution and affordable energy prices:

  1. Sizeable domestic supply

    Technological advances in the 1980s and 1990s made it possible to safely and affordably produce natural gas. Since then, production has skyrocketed, a phenomenon nicknamed the “natural gas revolution.” Production of natural gas in the U.S. increased 67% between 2008 and 2019.

    Today, natural gas is produced in 34 states. The U.S supply of natural gas is so plentiful, it could support production for over 100 years. This large supply helps to keep costs low for consumers.

  2. Driving down costs

    Between 2008 and 2019, American households spending on energy fell 15% when measured in nominal dollars as power plants have substituted natural gas for coal to generate electricity. The share of U.S. households’ spending on energy recently reached its lowest point since 2007.

    In addition to lower costs, the transition to natural gas has helped to reduce carbon dioxide emissions because it is a cleaner burning fuel than coal.

  3. Keeping energy spending low

    Even as Americans’ spending on health care increased 75%, education expenses rose 38%, and food expenditures went up 27% between 2008 and 2018, energy costs have remained low. Our plentiful supply of natural gas is to thank for these affordable rates.

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