In Energy, Natural Gas Should be Key

The Waxman- Markey Bill, now going in for consideration by the Senate, when they finally decide they want to actually do some work, will be heavy on “renewables” and “carbon credits”- which is a bunch of Bull—- in the end. All carbon credits do is provide more money to the government, and we have all seen how badly they handle money- they should not be allowed any more. They need to learn how to handle what they do have. I would take away their car allowances, and make them walk or take a cab. A little humility might go a long way towards fiscal responsibility, but that’s another post.

This one concerns the energies we already use, and how we can better use them. Natural gas is, (no pun intended), a natural, simply because the infrastructure retrofit required would be less than other technologies, as a LNG tank could be moved onto property easier than adapting other technologies to a service station, and Natural Gas is fairly friendly on emissions, especially for a fossil fuel. 

HOUSTON — The natural gas industry has enjoyed something of a winning streak in recent years. It found gigantic new reserves, low prices are encouraging utilities to substitute gas for coal, and cities are switching to buses fueled by natural gas.

But its luck has run out in Washington, where the industry is having trouble making its case to Congress as it writes an energy bill to tackle global warming.

nytimes.com

That’s right- if it’s a fossil fuel, you can bet that the enviro- nuts will be against it, and condemn it out of hand, rather than see how clean we could make them, especially since we are stuck with them until Congress sees the light on Nuclear power for electrical consumption.

The use of the fossil fuels coal and natural gas are competing for shares of power generation, and thus are in an adversarial position with regards to the other, when they should be acting together- they are both, after all, facing the same threat of extinction or at least severe restrictions. Coal has more to fear than natural gas, but they are in essence, tarred with the same brush.

The difference of opinion is about more than what is best for the environment, of course. Industry profits are riding on the outcome of the discussion — a rich mix of politics, environment, science and business.

A climate-change bill that passed the House in June, intended to cap greenhouse gas emissions, delivered benefits to renewable fuels like wind and solar and strengthened building codes to conserve energy.

~snip~

“The Senate is more open to natural gas as a transition fuel than the House was,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, “but the senators from the coal states who are crucial votes are going to want first consideration for coal.”

The gas industry’s leaders say they will descend on Capitol Hill in coming weeks to press their case about the advantage of gas, including that it emits about half the greenhouse gases as coal.

The industry has formed a new lobbying group, and it is planning a national campaign that includes television advertising. Executives want fewer allowances for coal. They also want legislation that gives incentives for companies to convert truck fleets from diesel to natural gas.

“Never in my life have I been confronted with something so obviously easy and good to do and have such Congressional apathy,” said Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of Chesapeake Energy and a leading voice in the industry. He added that he was still hopeful the Senate can improve the House bill.

nytimes.com

Now, to be fair, Mr. McClendon has a dog in this hunt- he is a proponent of Natural Gas, and he wants to make money- that’s a given, but he will throw the coal industry under the bus, when he should be working with the coal industry, and the nuclear industry- instead, it has become a divide and conquer deal with the liberals against the energy sector and its subsets.

But the coal industry will also be active. Vic Svec, a senior vice president at Peabody Energy, a large coal company, said coal was still a better fuel because its price is more stable than gas.

“Coal with carbon capture and storage is the low cost, low carbon solution and has fantastic implications for the nation’s energy security,” he said.

But it is not only coal-industry lobbyists and their Congressional supporters who favor the concept of carbon sequestration. David Hawkins, a climate change expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said simply replacing coal with natural gas for power generation was “not a viable strategy” because that would merely delay climate change by a few decades.

nytimes.com

When a more relaxed view is taken regarding the energy sector, where the existing technologies are encouraged to improve their energy production, with special emphasis on the end product of waste, all while perfecting the new technologies of wind and solar, there will be an increased productivity in these technologies. Strangling the existing modes of energy production is counter- productive to forming new ones- it just slows the whole process, and if we truly want to use new and more efficient energy sources, we need to transition carefully and patiently.

This House Energy Bill, Waxman-Markey, should be scrapped and a new, more workable one formed- just remember one thing-

It’s better to get it right, than to get it right now.
Blake

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