Natural gas is used to generate electricity and heat in many places in the US, and the US is one of them.
But its power plant pollution is causing some states to rethink their dependence on the fuel.
The latest push by Alaska Gov.
Bill Walker to boost gas-powered power plants is the latest example of a state trying to reduce the environmental and safety risks of fossil fuels.
Walker has also been fighting to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, an effort that he has been instrumental in helping to implement.
The governor’s push to tap gas-generated electricity comes amid an uptick in natural gas use in Alaska, which has been a growing region.
In 2017, for example, more than 20% of the state’s electricity was generated by gas.
That figure is expected to increase to about 27% in 2019.
The new plan also calls for increasing the number of gas-electricity plants in Alaska.
It’s a big deal to have a power plant that doesn’t emit methane, the toxic gas that can linger in the air for weeks at a time.
Methylmercury is also a problem in the natural gas industry.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, methane leaks from natural gas plants are the second leading source of CO2 emissions in the United States, after coal.
In a 2016 report, the U.S. Geological Survey said that methane leaks were responsible for about two-thirds of CO 2 emissions from natural-gas plants in the U, and about half of CO₂ emissions from power plants.
Walker has said his state would be able to get by without using natural gas to power its electricity supply.
However, it would be the first state to start building a natural gas-to-electric-power plant, he said in a speech in December 2017.
Walker said he was trying to make a major change to Alaska’s natural gas economy.
Walker said he wanted to reduce methane emissions by 25% over the next decade and would increase fuel efficiency.
In an interview with Alaska Dispatch News in January, Walker said the plan would also allow Alaska to diversify its energy mix.
“We’re looking at more renewables, and we’re looking more toward the natural resource side of it,” Walker said.
In March, Walker told a crowd in the state capital of Fairbanks that the new plant would be ready for use in 2018.