New research suggests that if the US can reduce oil and natural gas production by at least a quarter by 2030, it can save $49 billion in investment by 2020, according to a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“The economic benefits of lower energy costs and reduced pollution, which are among the biggest drivers for carbon emissions in the world, would translate to $1.3 trillion in economic activity and $250 billion in savings for the US economy by 2030,” the study said.
The report estimates that the US could reduce its energy consumption by about 5 percent by 2030.
That would reduce the cost of producing petroleum by about 7 percent, according the report, which was authored by Nicholas B. Cogdill, associate director of the Center on Energy and the Environment and John J. Bresnahan, a senior fellow in energy studies at the Brookings Institution.
“This would translate into an economic benefit of $1 trillion in 2030, and a $50-billion savings by 2020,” Bresnyahan said.
“But this assumes that US energy production does not collapse,” Brednick said.
“I would argue that’s a very high bar to clear.”
The report found that the reduction in oil and oil sands production in the US would cut CO2 emissions by 4.4 billion metric tons by 2030 and by an additional 5.4 million metric tons in 2030.
The study estimated that an additional $1 billion in US energy savings could be realized by 2030 from the reduction of natural gas extraction, as well as $300 million from the production of alternative fuels, such as biofuels.
Bresnahans analysis of the report found the biggest benefit would come from the elimination of coal and other fossil fuels.
Brednick estimated that a half-percent reduction in natural gas consumption would save the US an additional 1.7 million metric ton of CO2 per year.
The most significant economic benefits could come from lowering oil and crude oil production.
“Oil and gas production is projected to decline by about 25 percent in the 2030s.
The largest contribution to this decline would come in the form of reduced oil and shale oil production,” the report said.