By transforming older, less-efficient fossil plants into state-of-the-art natural gas facilities, we're saving our customers money, improving reliability and reducing our environmental footprint at the same time. Altogether, these new plants have cut CO2 emissions rates in half and cut overall air emissions rates by more than 90 percent, when compared to former plant designs. This also means a reduction in our country's use of foreign oil. At FPL, we use 98 percent less oil than in 2001.
We began investing in shale gas production in 2008, and today have more than $2.7 billion deployed in several shales around the country.
Prior to investing, we complete extensive due diligence on projects, including studying environmental issues and performance. In addition, our Environmental Compliance Assurance Audit Team audits facilities in which we have ownership to ensure compliance with environmental laws, regulations and permits.
Because natural gas is a major supply chain input to electricity generation, becoming involved helps us better understand and reduce supply chain risk. And for many employees, the best part of being involved in gas infrastructure is what it can mean for our country and energy independence.
NextEra Energy is executing on our plans for significant investments in natural gas pipelines, including: