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Demonizing Natural Gas

March 8, 2011

Now that natural gas is abundant and cheap, environmentalists are finding ways to demonize it.

Until now, environmentalists praised natural gas as a substitute for coal. They were fond of saying that natural gas produced 40% less CO2 than coal.

Now, with fracking, natural gas can be extracted from shale, and it has become abundant and cheap. The United States could even become an exporter of LNG.

As noted in ProPublica, a left of center web site that emphasizes the threats purported to come from fracking, the EPA has indicated that emissions of methane from natural gas production and transmission have more than doubled. The web site points out that, “Methane, the primary component of natural gas and among the more potent greenhouse gases, has far more of an effect on climate change than carbon dioxide.”

Suddenly, now that we have an abundance of natural gas, environmentalists are demonizing natural gas as a threat.

Robert Howarth, an environmental biology professor at Cornell University, “says his latest calculations show that the type of shale gas drilling taking place in parts of Texas, New York and Pennsylvania leads to particularly high emissions and would likely be just as dirty as coal [re CO2 emissions]. “

Another prominent environmental organization, the Natural Resources Defense Council, apparently supports targeting fracking.

The EPA is pursuing this issue, and seems to be trying to establish reasons for stopping fracking when it issues its new study in 2012.

Hollywood is also getting into the act with the film Gasland being nominated for an Academy Award. Gasland, a so-called documentary, depicts horror stories, many of which have been debunked, caused by fracking.

It’s also sad to note that Rogers, the CEO of Duke Energy, is fighting alongside environmentalists to stop fracking. The aforementioned web site said, “Rogers worries that a blind jump to gas could leave the country dependent on yet another fossil resource, without stemming the rate of climate change.”

Fracking is the new cause célèbre of the environmental movement. When it comes to energy, it seems that everything that’s good for the American economy and for Americans in general, is a target of the environmental movement.

This is unfortunate, because many of us believe in honest environmental action and decry the use of environmentalism as a political weapon.

Fracking gives America an inexpensive means for generating electricity, with a supply of natural gas that could last well beyond this century.

Fracking could also be a boon to many parts of the world for generating cheap electricity. In addition, fracking could allow Europe to extricate itself from under the heel of Russian control over its energy supply.

Abundant natural gas could be the ace up America’s sleeve when it comes to energy availability.

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[To find earlier articles, click on the name of the preceding month below the calendar to display a list of articles published in that month. Continue clicking on the name of the preceding month to display articles published in prior months.]

© Power America, 2010 – 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power America with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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