Letters: Natural gas has a role in clean energy

By Rita Hansen, CEO and co-founder of Onboard Dynamics 

If there is a lesson to learn from the current energy situation in Europe, it is that we have not yet reached the point when we can turn our backs on any reliable, domestic energy resource, especially when it is as clean and inexpensive as natural gas with an in-place (and paid for) reliable distribution infrastructure. For our society to prosper and thrive while meeting our environmental goals, natural gas will play an essential role.

It’s reliable, affordable and an important part of our clean energy future along with electricity and other clean energy sources.

As a nation, we have set a goal of fighting climate change to preserve and protect our planet and to be “carbon neutral” by 2050. To do this, it is crucial to have a robust, leak-free natural gas distribution system to complement and supplement renewable energy sources and exploit new forms of zero-carbon and carbon-negative gases, such as hydrogen, e-methane and renewable natural gas.

As a local clean technology innovator spun out of Oregon State University — Cascades, we support the natural gas ecosystem across the country. The utilities that we serve are advancing the decarbonization of our existing energy infrastructure and systems.

There currently isn’t a viable replacement for natural gas in the U.S. energy mix, especially for key industrial processes such as producing steel, cement, ammonia fertilizers and petrochemicals. Fortunately, progress is being made with zero-carbon gaseous fuels, like renewable natural gas and hydrogen. These fuels will play a significant role in supporting reliability and fostering an energy transition to a cleaner future.

This letter was originally published in the Bend Bulletin