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Obama’s Escalating War on Fossil Fuels

August 25, 2015

The administration’s war on coal has been well documented.

To a certain extent, it was thwarted by the remarkable advances in fracking and the extraordinary increase in natural gas production.

The shift from coal-fired power generation to natural gas has cut CO2 emissions, but only the naive would fail to realize that natural gas is also a so-called greenhouse gas. And supposedly, it is many times worse than CO2 in the atmosphere … 28 to 36 times more potent than CO2, according to the EPA.

It was clear that the environmental movement, represented by zealots in this administration, would have to curtail natural gas, as well as CO2, if it was to achieve its objective of saving the world from climate change.

The administration has now targeted natural gas with its program to cut methane leakage from natural gas production and transmission.

Natural gas is methane, but methane sounds more ominous.

For all the years that Americans heated their homes and cooked their meals using natural gas, they were unwittingly using the dreaded, climate altering methane.

The real objective of these new regulations by the EPA is to shut down fracking. The real beneficiaries will be political donors who have invested in so-called clean energy, because wind and solar can’t compete with cheap natural gas.

The fact is, methane emissions are more than ten percent lower today than they were seven years ago.

Methane trend baed on EIA data, courtesy of IBD

Methane trend baed on EIA data, courtesy of IBD

As with all the other regulations from this administration, the real victims will be Americans.

Natural gas is now very inexpensive, and produced here in the United States by American workers.

Before fracking, there was a dearth of domestically produced natural gas, and large investments were being made to import natural gas from the Mideast.

Fracking has made natural gas produced in the United States abundant and cheap, which has benefitted all ordinary Americans. It has also helped our balance of payments and reduced our dependence on Mideast countries.

Imagine how Americans would feel if they were paying 4 to 5 times more to heat their homes and cook their food if natural gas, i.e., methane, had to be imported from countries in the volatile Mideast. It’s the poor who really pay the penalty for this administrations regulations.

Before fracking, natural gas cost around $11 per million cubic feet. Today it costs less than $3 per million cubic feet. If it had to be imported it would probably cost more than $11.

Interestingly, cows probably emit more natural gas, i.e., methane, than is emitted by producing and transporting natural gas. How soon will the administration put a limit on eating meat and drinking milk?

Globally, agriculture is the largest emitter of methane.

This administration ignores the average American as it creates regulations that will harm all Americans. Higher costs for heating and cooking will now be added to more expensive and less reliable electricity as the penalty Americans will pay for Obama’s war on climate change.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Kenn Latzer permalink
    August 25, 2015 11:13 am

    I love this article, let’s hope our next leader have a better understanding of the energy business. thank you, kenn

    • August 25, 2015 11:16 am

      Thanks for your comment. I certainly hope that our next president and administration will change course, and focus on Americans and how to grow the economy.

  2. August 25, 2015 9:51 pm

    Strange that you feel the EPA’s CPP is against NG and coal. I believe that it might guarantee their continued use through this century. I’m sure you are aware that RE needs a dependable baseload source to load follow intermittent production of wind & solar.

    By setting CO² goals so high (<1000 Lbs/MWh), the CPP enables coal & natural gas to continue to be the majority-of-the-time backup with only a moderate financial penalty for carbon capture systems. For comparison; France, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Ontario, & Quebec have been producing their electricity with emissions below 200 Lbs of CO²/MWh – for several years already!

    IMHO, the CPP is a bad joke which offers a lifeline to the influential fossil fuel industry.

    • August 26, 2015 9:24 am

      Thanks Chris, for your comment.
      With respect to coal, the EPA has set the CO2 emission level so low that no traditional coal fired power plant can be built. The only possible way for coal to be used is with Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plants that are hugely uneconomic, and cost about as much as a nuclear power plant.
      The CPP forces, or at least nudges, power production toward wind and solar that are unreliable and very expensive.
      As for the European countries, they have subsidized wind and solar to such an extent that the utility companies are struggling to remain in business, and the electric rates for consumers are 4 to 5 times higher than in the US.
      Many scientists see no need for cutting CO2 emissions It’s also actually impossible to cut them to the point where atmospheric CO2 could remain below the so-called tipping point that would cause a climate catastrophe. If CO2 is not the primary cause of global warming, and I believe that”s the case, the CPP is a wasted effort that harms all Americans.
      I hope this provides information and possible answer to your thoughts about the CPP.

  3. Dan permalink
    August 26, 2015 3:01 pm

    All I can say as a nuclear guy is welcome to my world to everyone in the coal and gas fields. Building a reactor in the US is quadruple the cost of that same reactor overseas even after accounting for labor/materials. American reactors are 5 of the 7 reactors out of roughly 60 under construction today that are over budget and behind schedule.

    That is no coincidence.

    The EPA and Greenpeace Zealots came up with the term regulatory “ratcheting” to describe their strategy, it is the same thing they are trying with the natural gas industry.

    • August 26, 2015 3:42 pm

      Thanks for your comment.
      There is no question that the environmental zealots have done all they could hurt the nuclear industry in the United States. It’s very likely that U.S. nuclear power plants will disappear by the end of the century as existing plants are unable to get a second renewal to their operating license.


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