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Power Sector CO2 Emissions Fall, No Thanks to Fractivists

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Electric power sector CO2 emissions have, for the first time, dropped below those related to  transportation, thanks to natural gas and the shale revolution.

The environmental improvements wrought by the shale revolution have now achieved a new milestone. Electric power generation sector CO2 emissions are now lower than than those associated with transportation, all due to a shale revolution fought tooth and nail by fractivists. The facts of the story are told by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in this Today In Energy post.

Here are the key points from the story (emphasis added):

On a 12-month rolling total basis, electric power sector CO2 emissions are now regularly below transportation sector CO2 emissions for the first time since the late 1970s. CO2 emissions from electric power have been trending lower since 2007… 

co2 emissions

The electric power sector makes up a larger share of total U.S. energy consumption than the transportation sector. However, CO2 emissions from the electric power sector are now lower than those from transportation because the carbon intensity of the power sector has fallen much faster than the carbon intensity of the transportation sector.

co2 emissions

Emissions from the electric power sector are primarily from coal-fired and natural gas-fired electric generators. On average, emissions associated with combusting coal are higher than those associated with combusting natural gas.

The average rate of CO2 emitted from combusting coal ranges from 206 to 229 pounds per million British thermal units (lbs CO2/MMBtu), depending on the type of coal consumed. The combustion of natural gas emits on average 117 lbs CO2/MMBtu.

Natural gas electric generators also tend to be more efficient than coal generators, because they require less fuel to generate electricity. 

CO2 Emissions

In the 12 months from October 2015 through September 2016, coal and natural gas had nearly equal shares of electric power generation in the United States: 31% and 34%, respectively. However, their shares of electric power sector emissions were 61% and 31%, respectively, as coal is much more carbon-intensive.

The big change in trend, of course, came with the shale revolution that made natural gas a viable substitute for coal. It’s the same shale gas we’re lectured about by fractivists such as the Sierra Club, the NRDC gang and myriad others who blindly suppose renewables can magically get the same job done in so short a time.

What it reveals is the fact they really don’t give a damn about CO2 emissions or anything else environmental. What motivates them is an immanent disdain for capitalism, industry, the working class and anything that is not congenial with their own gentry class values. It is natural gas that’s producing the results they say they want, but they hate it, which tells us more about the hollowness of their cause than anything else.

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3 thoughts on “Power Sector CO2 Emissions Fall, No Thanks to Fractivists

  1. The environmentalists opposing natural gas are part of the problem. And more and more one can find themselves arguing with people over whether natural gas has environmental benefits over coal and other fuels. That is a direct result of the antifracking movement. Big problem!

  2. I went to an anti drilling meeting in Wlsmsport some time ago and there were many cars in the parking lot with bumper stickers proclaiming “down with Capitalism”. Tom is right on with his comment about the real reason. The profs. in college today are teaching against capitalism.

  3. Pingback: Natural Gas Is Clean, It's Now and It Doesn't Need Our SubsidiesNatural Gas Now

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