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Why Environmentalists Hate Natural Gas

June 5, 2015

The dream of extreme environmentalists is to force people to use energy sources the extreme environmentalists deem suitable. Their desire is to mandate how people live, i’e., green communities, how much energy they use, and how energy is produced.

In short, curtail individual freedom.

Proof of their intent was the Waxman-Markey Bill that would have imposed draconian restrictions on Americans freedom, extending from the motors that could be used to forcing people to conform to energy usage in their homes. The 1,400 word Bill that failed in the Senate, is available here,

The only thing really standing in the way of extreme environmentalists is natural gas.

Their dream energy sources of solar and wind cannot achieve the same level of cost and reliability as electricity generated from natural gas.

I can hear the protests from the acolytes now, but even the Energy Information Administration (EIA) knows that electricity from solar and wind are more expensive than natural gas today, and will continue to be in 2019.

The EIA is biased toward wind and solar, yet their LCOE estimates for 2019, four years from now, are:

  • Natural Gas Combined Cycle 6 cents/kWh
  • Wind, onshore 8 cents/kWh
  • Wind, offshore 20 cents/kWh
  • PV solar 13 cents/kWh
  • Concentrating solar 24 cents/kWh

That’s the data published at

But in reading the data more carefully, note that onshore wind is given a capacity factor of 35%, while in actuality it has been 30% or less, which means the forecast is biased toward wind.

But this begs the question: Why is a U.S. Government agency publishing distorted information rather that current factual information?

Furthermore, what validity do their projections have when its clear the EIA is biased?

And this data ignores the fact that wind and solar are intermittent, actually unreliable in so far as the grid operators are concerned, because grid operators can’t rely with certainty that wind and solar will be there when they need it.

Why is it that extreme environmentalists consistently claim wind and solar generated electricity will be less costly … someday in the future?

Meanwhile, natural gas power generation equipment improves over time which lowers its cost.

Gas turbine power plant. Photo by D. Dears

Gas turbine power plant. Photo by D. Dears

Wind and solar are likely to remain more expensive for decades to come, while also requiring huge uneconomic investments in storage.

Without storage the green system will fail. See, The Duck Speaks Part 1,  and Part 2.

The savvy extreme environmentalists know this, which is why they have declared war on natural gas.

They know that low cost natural gas is plentiful in the United States, and will become more plentiful worldwide. See, New Age Dawning.

They also know that with methane hydrates the age of natural gas can extend for centuries. See, Natural Gas Bonanza from Hydrates.

For extreme environmentalists to succeed, they must stop the development and use of natural gas.

That is why there is a constant flow of propaganda in the media about the supposed terrible consequences of fracking; climate altering methane emissions from natural gas pipelines; supposed catastrophic consequences of climate change; coupled with a constant stream of misleading information about how wind and solar will, someday, be low cost producers of electricity.

Most Americans are astute, and will see through the bogus claims of extreme environmentalists.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. sandek1 permalink
    June 5, 2015 10:52 am

    Interesting. I posted the link to this on my Max A Pooch Facebook page which is loader with environmentalist friends. It should provide some interesting comments if any bother to read it. I have convinced most environmentalists can’t spell environment, let alone understand that environment doesn’t mean a cartoon film named Bambi invented by Disney.


    • June 5, 2015 10:56 am

      Thanks. Great comment. Felix Salten wrote a marvelous book, but it’s given many people the wrong idea about the environment. I hope the environmentalists read the article.

  2. donb permalink
    June 5, 2015 12:25 pm

    Donn, excellent article, clearly presented.
    And just today the EPA announced that they could find no serious water contamination from fracking. In spite of their likely desire to find just the opposite, they realize that to attack and decrease NG use now would make the current vulnerabilities of renewables that much more obvious.

  3. usurbrain permalink
    June 5, 2015 5:11 pm

    It appears to me the envirowhacos put too many eggs in the “kill the Coal” basket. Now that coal power is dying the need for more energy made it profitable to drill for OIL/NatGas and they got their agenda upset. For years there have been Coal fired power plants (Ultra Super-critical Pressure) with CO2 emissions of the same magnitude as CCTGs and they are in use in China and the EU today – not the USA as Obama wants to Kill Coal – PERIOD. The USP units are used in the EU and are burning Lignite – one of the dirtiest coals there is, with less emissions than the cleanest US coal plants and on par with the existing CCTG units.

    Again, this hate for coal and nuclear, without taking advantage of the known and proven advances, proves to me that Anthropogenic Climate Change is a SCAM. Yes, CO2 increases may slightly affect the temperature of the globe, However, the amount is essentially “in the noise” of all of the natural factors causing climate change.

    • June 5, 2015 5:33 pm

      Thanks. Your commentary is right on target. I’m not sure Ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants emit the same amount of CO2 as NGCC units. I believe its slightly more, which is why the EPA regulation prohibiting more than 1100 pounds / MWh precludes the use of Ultra-supercritical plants. As you noted, China and Europe are both building these units.

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