Environmental and Energy Law Blog

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Paris Climate Talks May Result in Boom for Texas Oil and Gas Industries

What are the implications of the recent climate talks on the Texas natural gas industry?

On November 20, 2015, world leaders from across the globe embarked on Paris, France to engage in discussions over climate change and the potential impacts of global warming and other environmental phenomena. During these talks, 196 participating nations partook in 146 panel presentations by scientists, resulting in a mutual goal of limiting global warming to 2.7 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. As a key component of this task, leaders agreed to limit greenhouse gas emissions to near zero by the second half of the 21st century – creating an ideal scenario for producers with low- or zero-output energy sources, such as natural gas.

According to experts, the agreements reached at the Paris climate talks could result in a significant boon for the Texas natural gas industry, as sources like coal are set to be phased out over the next several decades. More specifically, coal reliance and coal-fired industries will be forced to shift over time toward oil and natural gas – particularly if CO2 emission standards set forth in the Paris Agreement are ratified and codified by Congress.

A professor at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University commented, “What do you replace [coal] with? It’s going to be natural gas….Texas has natural gas. Houston is going to remain the energy capital of the world.”

While long-term implications of the Treaty could ultimately impact the oil and natural gas industries in a negative way, the short-term effects will be a boon– particularly as developing nations continue to rely on oil and natural gas supplies. Currently, the United States continues to be the leading producer of oil and natural gas – with Texas at the helm as the nation’s highest state-level producer.

If you are immersed in the oil and gas industries, it is recommended that you consult with attorneys who are well-versed in environmental law and who routinely handle cases involving the oil and gas contracts.

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