If the Problem Is Environmental Injustice, Natural Gas Is the Solution

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Environmental injustice does, in fact, exist. It comes from phony environmental scams the poor and moderate income are forced to subsidize. Gas is the fix.

Serial protester fractivist groups have been on an environmental justice kick recently, running scams intended to undermine energy projects on the basis they would unfairly impact low income and minority populations. Three recent stories tell us, though, it’s just the opposite. There is environmental injustice, but it’s being practiced by those who would force their uneconomic energy solutions on the rest of us. Meanwhile, natural gas is lowering the costs of energy for everyone and cleaning the air at the same time.

The first story is a real eye-opener. It’s from Forbes but was picked up by Global Energy World and turns the bogus environmental justice theory on its head by revealing the real environmental injustice taking place in California. It’s about civil rights leaders who are suing California for environmental policies and programs they claim “disproportionately harm its poorest residents, particularly Latinos and African Americans.”

Yes, someone is finally onto the fact much of environmentalism is elitism. Here’s a few excerpts (emphasis added):

“California politicians are using anti-racist and environmentalist words to hide the regressive impact of their climate policies on the poor and people of color,” said John Gamboa, the co-founder of The Two Hundred, a coalition of prominent civil rights leaders, which filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in Superior Court…

California’s climate policies guarantee that housing, transportation and electricity prices will continue to rise,” the complaint notes, “while ‘gateway’ jobs to the middle class for those without college degrees, such as manufacturing and logistics, will continue to locate in other states.”

…The housing crisis has, in recent years, pushed people further from jobs, and dramatically increased commute distances.  Vehicle miles Californians have to drive rose by 15 percent between 2000 and 2015. This increase in driving resulted in adverse health impacts from air pollution.

Some of the unfairness is geographic, the complaint alleges. Many of the state’s poor and people of color tend to “live in the state’s inland areas (and need more heating and cooling than the temperate coast), and drive farthest to jobs due to the acute housing crisis.”

…The civil rights leaders say California’s policies hurt poor people more than they help the climate.

Bravo! The only thing missing is the fact that jobs could easily be created inland with fracking, including jobs in manufacturing that will allow Californians to work where they live. That’s the beauty of natural gas development; it is rural economic revitalization that requires no incentives, no subsidies and no forcing of people onto public transportation.

But, that’s not the only thing fracking can do. It has also proven to lower the costs of both natural gas and electricity while reducing greenhouse gas and other emissions. Lowering the costs of energy matters to low and moderate income communities. That much is in evidence from yesterday’s Today In Energy post, which reported “one in three U.S. households faces a challenge in meeting energy needs,” included this:

Nearly one-third of U.S. households (31%) reported facing a challenge in paying energy bills or sustaining adequate heating and cooling in their homes in 2015. According to the most recent results from EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), about one in five households reported reducing or forgoing necessities such as food and medicine to pay an energy bill, and 14% reported receiving a disconnection notice for energy service. Households may also use less energy than they would prefer; 11% of households surveyed reported keeping their home at an unhealthy or unsafe temperature

environmental injustice

Of the 25 million households that reported forgoing food and medicine to pay energy bills, 7 million faced that decision nearly every month. Of the 17 million households who reported receiving a disconnection notice, 2 million reported that they received a notice nearly every month.

Occasionally, households may lose the use of heating or air-conditioning equipment entirely. This situation can occur when equipment breaks and a household cannot afford to fix it or when a household cannot afford fuel for their equipment. Seven million households (6% of the national total) reported the inability to use heating equipment because of financial constraints at some point in 2015, and 6 million (5%) households reported the loss of air conditioning. These issues occurred during a year when the overall energy-related expenditure level was at its lowest point in more than a decade

environmental injustice

For instance, households that included children, that had residents who identified with a minority racial group or as Hispanic, or that were classified as low income experienced more energy insecurity.

States such as California and New York are doing everything they can to appease politically correct San Francisco and Manhattan voters who know neither poverty nor energy production; forcing energy costs up for the poor by mandating and subsidizing uneconomic energy schemes.  Meanwhile, natural gas, not so coincidentally, has been lowering the costs elsewhere. This takes us to our third story about the $4.3 billion West Virginia consumers have saved due to fracking. It’s from a Consumer Energy Alliance report that offers the following:

  • Expanded natural gas production across the state saved consumers nearly $4.3 billion between 2006 and 2016. Residential users saved almost $1.6 billion; commercial and industrial users saved over $2.7 billion.
  • Since 2010, West Virginia’s core shale-related industry employment increased 77.54 percent, employing nearly 12,000 West Virginians. In comparison, all industries in West Virginia only experienced a 15.74 percent change in employment.
  • On average, each West Virginian spent $3,910 on energy-related needs in 2016. For those living at or below poverty, this translates to roughly one-third of their income.

As the data indicates, there is a straight line from fracking to economic prosperity. That prosperity is the ultimate antidote for poverty and it is achieved from the revitalization that fracking brings to rural areas as well as the manufacturing sector as well as the gigantic energy savings produced for all consumers. The environmental benefits from reduced emissions are the gravy. This is how real environmental injustice is corrected. It’s also why we refer to the gentry class shill called the Delaware Riverkeeper as the “Delaware Povertykeeper.” It is pushing elitist environmental agendas that ignore the needs of communities.

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2 thoughts on “If the Problem Is Environmental Injustice, Natural Gas Is the Solution

  1. Our fracked county still suffers under economic struggles….
    and the struggle to pay our energy bills..
    Similar percentages of poverty and low
    income as before fracking..
    And we now have health, water and air issues, and erosion issues to deal with that economically strain us..

    Gas is no Savior..

    • Bull,
      NATURAL GAS is a blessing from mother earth to all her inhabitants! Even you Vera, as fossil fuels keep you warm and on the road this winter and even sponsor your objection to them.


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