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Fuel Swap

Natural gas as a near-term CO2 mitigation strategy.

Fortnightly Magazine - April 2010

appropriately aggressive defensive strategy. This will surely lead to any number of carve outs and protections on a federal and local level that will limit the ability of this shift to occur.

No Silver Bullet

A coal-gas swap is by no means a silver bullet for climate policy. The long-term stability of the climate demands massive success on multiple fronts given the size of our collective environmental footprint. However, the potential for this switch to immediately lower CO 2 emissions is larger than any other near-term solution—short of slashing people’s access to energy. On that basis alone, it deserves attention.



1. Total actual annual generation divided by (generator nameplate x 8760 hours/year). All raw data for this and subsequent data come from DOE/Energy Information Administration unless otherwise noted.

2. ~115 lbs/MMBtu for natural gas vs. ~200 lbs/MMBtu for coal.