Climate change is a touchy subject with a vast amount of theories on how to stop it. Despite what you hear, natural gas is the only way to beat it.
There are a variety of beliefs when it comes to climate change. Some believe it is part of a natural phase and not to worry, while some argue that man-made gases are to blame. The argument is unusual in one respect; it requires no winner. As long as natural gas is in play, it simply doesn’t matter.
I say this cheeky and I realize that. Still, the truth is this; whether it is man-made or it’s natural, we have a say for the first time in history. Natural gas development is here and we are all benefactors; I doubt Craig Stevens would be traveling so much without benefiting from either the abundance or the low cost drilling technologies have given us.
Natural gas has given the US unprecedented power to not only wean itself off foreign supplies, but also resulted in a global market place in which we are the market-makers. We are set to become one of the largest exporters of natural gas by 2035, overtaking Australia and Qatar. It doesn’t take a huge leap of faith to make such bold predictions, as we just started about a year ago and are already exporting 70 million tons compared to 87 million and 82 million, respectively, for the other two. We are as a nation, at the vortex of a perfect storm that is disrupting everything for the better.
The US, in fact, is at the top of the heap when one considers how far we have advanced the technologies for recovering gas, recycling water and everything else connected with fracking. We are also afforded the individual mineral rights so many other nations do not offer, providing incentives to develop the resources. Combine this with the fact natural gas is so much better for the environment than wind and solar and natural gas quickly becomes the obvious tool for dealing with climate change.
Wait, what about methane leaks? While CO2 was the leading scapegoat for the climate change until fracking proved natural gas could do a better job reducing CO2 than anything else, fractivists now point the finger towards methane. It must be bad as some states are regulating the amount of gas passed by livestock. A great study by NOAA and its leading author put that fear to bed:
“Greenhouse gas inventories from U.S. EPA show that emissions from fossil fuel extraction have increased in recent years. But this has apparently not registered on the global scale. This is possibly because the U.S. energy industry contributes little to the overall burden of global fossil fuel emissions”
When Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan sold us out, the thing he said that struck me the most is when he said, “Protecting our environment, and making it cleaner and healthier has been one of the top priorities of our administration.” He said the possible risks of fracking “simply outweigh any potential benefits.” Sadly, this statement was a cop-out for giving into political pressure. A wise man once told me, that when you know you are right, don’t back down and this lesson is becoming clearer.
I do support climate change theories – to a degree. I understand that not everyone shares that belief, but for me, it makes sense. That is the biggest reason that I support natural gas. Natural gas is the only way we have a shot at reducing CO2 levels to any significant degree and, if our politicians continue to cave into the special interests of activists, there will be no progress. We know this from a gigantic case study.
Fractivists, in fact, cite Germany as their case study based largely on the country’s “commitment” to renewables; their good intentions. Germany shut down their nuclear plants due to public pressure after Fukushima and talks a good game about ridding itself of fossil fuels, refusing to develop its shale. It plans, it says, to increase the share of renewable energy to 95 percent of total energy supply by 2050. Tom pointed out a few days ago what is actually happening and it should be a lesson for us here in the US.
Germany, in an attempt to accomplish its goal, is adding a renewable levy on power bills. It has doubled the price of electricity and the country is falling short on being able to provide energy when its needed. It has forced the nation, in fact, to double down on coal or exchange with “Austrian oil-fired power stations, Polish coal plants, and French and Czech nuclear power stations” according to Reason. The article outlines several reasons Germany is on the way to a full-blown energy crisis. Due to their “German Engineering” their grid is a bit more resilient than ours, which has delayed the day of reckoning, but it’s coming. If we had done what Germany did, we would already be in deep trouble.
Gov. Hogan’s commitment to the environment is noble and I appreciate it, but the only way to follow through is by developing natural gas, the best proven antidote to CO2 emissions and climate change. Maryland’s natural gas reserves are not record breaking and, as a reader pointed out, it may even be wise to keep the supply short for a while. The point, rather, is that we are heading in the wrong direction due to weak spines. This is no way to fight climate change, help the environment or deal fairly with Western Marylanders who only want to produce what’s needed to solve a problem. Natural gas is the ONLY way to beat climate change.