The energy sector is looking for greener solutions while staying cost-competitive

Agriculture is not the only industry looking to capture carbon and reduce emissions.

The oil and natural gas industry support nearly 10 million American jobs with many located in rural communities where mining and extraction happened. However, as the shift to cleaner energy continues, Michael Sabel, Venture Global LNG’s Chief Executive Officer, says that natural gas and renewable have to be cost-competitive to ensure new jobs are created.

“As the customers think about what source of fuel they use for power production, it’s really all about costs, and when they compare coal, which is generally cheapest in the market, with other sources, gas needs to be competitive with that,” Sabel explains.

Depending on the source, natural gas can be both renewable or non-renewable energy, and Sabel sees it as a necessary transition fuel as the world moves away from coal.

According to Sabel, “Until there are new developments and new inventions that allow for alternatives, in order to increase the production from renewables, you have to have baseline flexible source to do that, and obviously, we view gas as the most attractive and the best alternative.”

He says that policymakers should also be focused on global strategies to build exports in growing markets, like Asia.

“The developing world where most of the growth is occurring does not have the infrastructure to support renewable energy. So, it makes it a lot more expensive, so until there is a global agreement that supports more of that investment as quickly as possible, you are going to get more goal if you don’t support affordable gas exports and the associated infrastructure,” he explains.

Meanwhile, the oil industry is looking to increase carbon sequestration and offsets.

Erik Oswald, ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions VP, says that lawmakers need to modernize policy for an emerging market: “We also talked about infrastructure investment, having the government make initial investments in infrastructure to create the new market, what those opportunities look like, and then finally, there is a whole suite of regulatory issues from access to liability.”

Currently, the energy sector accounts for three-quarters of all global emissions, making it the top target for governments looking to improve sustainability.


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