In addition to serving power and heat to millions of American homes and businesses, natural gas is frequently credited as a cleaner alternative to traditional power sources such as coal and oil. In our current global conversation around climate change and carbon footprint, the preference is shifting to value environmentally sound fuel alternatives. This shift has led to current CO2 emissions at the lowest levels we’ve seen since the early 1990s, according to Forbes. This is thanks, in large part, to natural gas. The future of American energy poses many questions, one of them being whether our policymakers should continue to utilize the abundant natural gas resource or tap into renewable options to provide the bulk of the growing demand. Turns out, both types of fuel are essential in not just American, but global commerce. “This idea of natural gas as [only] a transition fuel to renewables is strange,” Total SA Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said at the 2018 World Gas Conference in Washington, as reported by Reuters. “Natural gas is a solution” to climate change, he added. Pouyanne and other executives agree that the industry should and is doing more to improve technologies helping to curb methane emissions while bolstering methane collection. The U.S. is the world’s biggest energy consumer, and to meet our nation’s demand, natural gas and renewables must work together and maintain an interdependent relationship, according to The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA). Natural gas and renewables are not mutually exclusive, but naturally complementary. Though a valuable and important piece of the nation’s energy supply, renewable resources are just that – a piece. The less constant nature of most renewables – the wind doesn’t blow all the time and the sun doesn’t shine all the time – drives the need for a baseload supply to provide support to those fuels, and natural gas is the most viable. The world and more importantly, our own region, cannot run on any one source of fuel, and choosing not to rely on natural gas for a portion of our power generation would require the use of less efficient and less clean energy sources, such as coal and fuel oil. However, continued support from natural gas in the future will help renewables continue to gain traction in the energy market by providing the support they need, all while working toward the collective goal of helping to reduce carbon emissions.