SUBLETTE COUNTY, Wyo. – Natural gas produced in the United States can end Europe’s dependence on Russian energy without impacting local demand, according to one industry leader.
"I believe it is the future," Jonah Energy President and CEO Tom Hart told Fox News.
It is estimated that the U.S. has about 100 years’ worth of natural gas at the current consumption rates, according to Hart. By doubling exports, Hart said the U.S. could completely replace Europe’s Russian imports.
"I don’t think that’s a stretch for the industry to do, and I don’t think it would hurt our ability to meet our local demand," Hart said.
Western nations have largely been united in economic punishments levied against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. But European nations, unlike the U.S., couldn't ban Russian oil and gas imports, due to their reliance on the country's energy supplies.
He said removing Russia from the market not only replaces a "bad actor," but helps the environment as well.
"The side benefit of that is U.S. natural gas is the cleanest natural gas in the world, bar none," Hart said. "So you're replacing Russian natural gas that is not held to anywhere near the same standards with gas that's produced very cleanly and safely in the U.S."
Jonah Enegery Vice President Paul Ulrich added: "Natural gas can be a huge part of the solution if we can manage and reduce and eliminate the emissions associated with production. We're doing that here in the Jonah field."
Jonah Field was one of the largest onshore natural gas discoveries in the early 1990’s, according to the company’s website. Jonah Energy, in Sublette County, Wyoming, operates over 2,400 producing wells in the area.
Some congressional Democrats have supported increasing domestic oil and gas production to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources and to supply energy to allies, but some environmentalists have said the country should focus on renewable resources to achieve energy independence.
"There’s no way some hostile foreign country can block the wind that powers wind turbines in Wyoming, and there’s no way some other foreign nation can blot out the sun that powers solar energy panels in Florida," Drew Caputo, Earthjustice's vice president of litigation for lands, wildlife and oceans wrote in a post on the nonprofit’s website.
"Real ‘energy security’ starts at home by making robust investments in clean energy and accelerating our transition to renewable sources," the article continued.
Hart told Fox News: "I strongly believe that there’s a place for all these types of fuels. But that is unrealistic and ultimately a failed approach to attempt to leave a fuel like natural gas out of the mix, given all the benefits that it brings."