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Natural Gas Conundrum: Can It Be Eliminated Safely by 2050?

USEA Virtual Press Briefing on July 22 To Examine Critical Gas Issues

Can the utilities let gas go safely, and what will be the impact on the stability of the gas industry?”

— Llewellyn King

WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES, July 15, 2022 / — The future role of natural gas in U.S. electricity generation hangs in the balance. At present, 38 percent of the nation’s generation is from gas. Can it be eliminated by the 2050 goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions set by the Biden administration, and by some utilities themselves? Is the timetable unreasonable? Will the grid lose reliability and stability if gas is replaced solely by wind and solar?

These are the issues swirling around the future for the utilities as they plan, build, and implement their carbon-neutral futures.

The giant Tennessee Valley Authority is weighing the closure of its largest generating station, the coal-fired 2,470-megawatt Cumberland Plant, and replacing it with gas generation, if no alternatives can be found. It has released an RFP for 5,000 MW of new, carbon-free generation that may have a seminal impact if none is forthcoming in that volume and by its timeframe of 2029.

“The European Union is dealing with its gas dilemma — and it is in an invidious position with Russian supplies — by classifying some gas and nuclear as green. Will there be a similar compromise in the United States?” said nationally syndicated columnist Llewellyn King.

He added: “Can the utilities let gas go safely, and what will be the impact on the stability of the gas industry?”

The United States Energy Association, the umbrella organization that covers all energy sources, has scheduled a virtual press briefing on this critical issue for Friday, July 22, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time.

As usual, the briefing, which is one in an ongoing series, will consist of a panel of experts being questioned by a panel of top reporters. These briefings are organized and moderated by King and are introduced by USEA Acting Executive Director Sheila Hollis.

The experts:

Don Moul, Executive Vice President and COO, Tennessee Valley Authority

David Naylor, President, Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative, Rockwall, Texas

Phil Moeller, Executive Vice President, Edison Electric Institute

Jack Weixel, Senior Director, S&P Global Commodity Insights

William Hederman, Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University, formerly Director of the International Energy Agency, and Adviser to Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz

The reporters:

Jennifer Hiller, The Wall Street Journal

Vijay Vaitheeswaram, The Economist

Ken Silverstein, Forbes

Rod Kuckro, Freelance

These briefings, which are held on Zoom, are open to all reporters, USEA members, and the public. A transcript is available following the briefing on the USEA website

Register here:

Llewellyn King
White House Media LLC
+1 202-441-2702

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