Post-Lunch Plenary: Natural Gas -- Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?


Jim Kelly, Former Senior Vice President, Southern California Edison
Dennis Arriola, President and Chief Executive Officer, Southern California Gas Company
Robert Weisenmiller, Chair, California Energy Commission
Mary Nichols, Chairman, California Air Resources Board

When it comes to natural gas, California seems to be facing an “identity crisis.” On the one hand, natural gas prices are at remarkable lows, supply seems assured for many years to come, and many states are proudly proclaiming their intentions to “clean up” by shifting away from coal and into gas for generation and other uses. On the other hand, California policy seems to be sending a different message about natural gas, through recent and proposed changes to California codes intended to reduce the role of gas in the home, and moving natural gas toward central plants that can be more easily regulated or displaced by renewables. Where does — and should — natural gas fit in California’s energy future? Do policy makers really want to reduce gas consumption? What will be the impact on low-income residents? And what is the natural gas industry doing to respond to environmental concerns and aspirations?


Natural Gas - Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?