The Real Climate Change Deniers Are the Fractivists

natural gas boats - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Although fractivists are fond of labeling those of us who advocate for natural gas as climate change deniers, the real deniers are those who pretend natural gas can’t help.

There were some rather amazing comments on this blog the other day. They reveal the degree to which fractivists who love labeling us as climate change deniers will go to deny the contribution of natural gas in reducing emissions. It’s stunning, in fact, how far these real climate change deniers will go in ignoring the fundamental facts and rules of logic in defending what is clearly ideology, not science, in their own heads.

I’m talking about a handful of comments made by always angry artist James Barth, who seems, for all the world, to be in a state of perpetual agony and torment that natural gas advocates like me even live on the same planet with him.  Here’s his basic argument from one of his latest bursts of dark energy:

  1. Between 2005 and 2009 nat gas consumption in the U.S. was static, while CO2 emissions were reduced by 9.4%. Nat gas replacement of coal had nothing to do with it (in fact nat gas was expensive then), the decline in demand for electricity due to the recession which resulted in the coal industry closing their 50 year and older inefficient, polluting plants due to the lack of demand, had everything to do with it.
  2. By 2015, nat gas consumption rose 20% since 2010, mostly used in the electricity generating sector, but emissions only decreased a further 2.7% approx. over that period. Again, more due to solar and wind coming on line, energy efficiency, and further large old coal plant closings. Energy consumption during this period was still lower than 2007 level.
  3. In 2016, CO2 emissions reduced by another 1.7% while nat gas consumption increased a miniscule .0067%. Coal consumption on the other hand, dropped 8.6%. That, plus the continued increase in solar and wind, but mostly still the simple fact that overall energy consumption was still about 1.5% lower in 2016 than in 2007.

Jim Barth’s argument is about as silly as it gets, of course. He assumes coal plants would have closed regardless of natural gas development, against every bit of evidence to the contrary, and uses natural gas consumption figures to make his faulty argument rather than natural gas used in electricity generation. Here is how CO2 emissions compare to both coal and natural gas use in electricity generation since 1990, using data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA):

Climate Change Denier

There’s no denying it; CO2 emissions began declining when natural gas became a serious substitute for coal in electricity generation; as the former accelerated big-time 2008 and the latter began to decline. The trends aren’t independent; rather, they complement each other as in yin and yang, left and right and E = mc².

The EIA analyzed the data itself here, producing the following three charts illustrating  the point in additional ways. The first demonstrates how the volume of CO2 emissions has declined, compared to the mix of sources. The EIA notes “a shift in the electricity generation mix, with generation from natural gas and renewables displacing coal-fired power, drove the reductions in emissions.”

climate change deniers

The next chart (a compilation of three mini-charts) further notes how “natural gas consumes less fuel per unit of electricity generation” making it more appealing as a substitute for coal and “emits less carbon dioxide per unit of electricity generation” giving natural gas a multiplier effect, if you will, in terms of CO2 emission rate reductions. That is to say the more natural gas is substituted for coal, the less fuel is needed and even less CO2 is generated.

climate change deniers

The EIA sums it all nicely with this paragraph:

Electricity generation and its resulting emissions are primarily determined by the available capacity and relative operating costs of the different technologies. Recent capacity additions have favored natural gas and renewable energy, while retirements have been mostly coal units. In recent years, the drop in natural gas prices, coupled with highly efficient natural gas-fired combined-cycle technology, made natural gas an attractive choice to serve baseload demand previously met by coal-fired generation. Coal-fired generation has decreased because of both the economics driven by cost per kilowatthour compared to that of natural gas and because of the effects of increased regulation on air emissions.

It also offers yet another chart to show what’s happened and how natural gas has substituted for coal, growing from an 18% share of electric generation in 2005 to a 32% share in 2015, despite Barth’s contention coal has simply declined on its own. Coal went down by a 17% share and natural gas went up by a 16% share, but there’s no relationship, says Jim Barth.

Jim’s one of a unique class of fractivist climate change deniers who don’t deny climate change, but refuse to accept the most basic undeniable facts about CO2 emissions and how the US has pioneered the most effective path to reducing them quickly in contrast to places such as Germany, the hallowed climate protector that just happens to be burning more coal, not less.

climate change deniers Jim also seems blithely unaware of all the coal to gas plant conversions that have taken place across the country, such as the Hunlock Creek Energy Station I profiled a couple of years ago, where CO2 emissions plummeted as energy production was more than doubled, not to mention up to 99.9% reduction in other emissions. Such conversions and replacements on-site or elsewhere have dramatically reduced CO2 emissions as this study published in Earth’s Future reveals (emphasis added):

As a result of the increased use of natural gas, CO2 emissions from U.S. fossil-fuel power plants were 23% lower in 2012 than they would have been if coal had continued to provide the same fraction of electric power as in 1997

The average CO2 emission intensities between 1997 and 2012 were 915.0 ± 0.8 g(CO2)/kWh for coal, 549.4 ± 1.1 g(CO2 )/kWh for natural gas, 436.0 ± 1.4 g(CO2 )/kWh for natural gas with combined cycle technology, and 784 ± 2 g(CO2 )/kWh for other fuels…

Because the CO2 emission intensity of coal is much higher than that of natural gas, particularly with combined cycle technology, a significant fraction of this decrease in CO2 emissions can be attributed to the switch from coal toward natural gas…

Over the last decade the increased use of natural gas power plants with combined cycle technology has significantly decreased the atmospheric emissions of CO2, NOx, and SO2 associated with electric power generation in the United States. Further reductions in these emissions can follow by converting a larger fraction of the U.S. electric power production to natural gas, and by ensuring that all natural gas power plants are equipped with the latest combined cycle technology. These results illustrate some of the advantages to both climate and air quality that follow the switch from coal to natural gas.

That about sums it up, doesn’t it? Anyone serious about reducing CO2 emissions cannot deny the role of natural gas development in accomplishing that goal. Those who do so are climate change deniers of a different sort; the kind who oppose real solutions in favor of ideological fantasies and utopian dreams. Yes, fractivists are the real climate change deniers and they’ve not yet even begun to spin. Just wait and see how they deal with this; carbon capture and reuse in gas plants.

P.S. It appears Jim Barth has trouble understanding the EIA data and conclusions as well as my graphs, so I’m including the source numbers below, which speak for themselves. No amount of cherry-picking by Jim changes them.

Note that CO2 emissions and coal use peaked in 2007 and it’s what’s happened since that matters.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

32 thoughts on “The Real Climate Change Deniers Are the Fractivists

  1. Gas plants may reduce toxic emissions in areas where coal and other toxic industries exist or existed..

    but in rural areas like my county of Susquehanna , the toxic air emissions go up since we have no coal industry or other toxic industries here…

    why do you omit us in your calculations…?

    We now have 50 gas and other compounds – emitting gas compressor stations in our county which admit to tons of each compound being emitted yearly into our rather pristine air…

  2. i have said it before and is worth repeating – after a long absence from this blog, Vera (the witch) the malcontent has made a return knowing her position is in great jeopardy. Thanks Tom , keep hammering

  3. Tom,

    I congratulate anyone who is able to read through your landmine of charts. You must present material in this manner so that people do not bother with the facts.

    I’ll construct my response in far more easily comprehensible English prose.

    Contrary to what you imply, I do not dispute the fact that ngas burns about 46% more efficiently than coal, and that therefore, if one were to make an equal swap of ngas for coal, one would gain a positive carbon emissions result based on that relationship.alone. Unfortunately for the planet, it is nowhere near the amount of reduction we need to make in the time that we need to make the reduction, and we should make huge investments in renewable energy instead.

    The three points I presented are correct, as are the implications I stated for that period. The use of ngas, which occurs overwhelmingly in the electric generation sector (39% of the overall consumption of energy in the US), was not nearly the primary driving force in the overall reduction of Co2 emissions in the US in the period from 2007-2016.

    Shale gas extraction supporters such as you make the false assertion that ngas is the primary reason for the reduction during this period, and I am responding with the data that disproves your propaganda.

    Since there was zero replacement of ngas for the reduction in coal use during the period of the 9.4% reduction in Carbon emissions (there was actually a slight reduction in use of ngas from 2007-2009), your assertion in support of ngas being the driving force is absurd.

    Tom, please clearly explain your assertion in relation to this. Here’s the link showing the yearly ngas consumption in the US.

    I’ll further illustrate the point I’m making by the following figures.

    While the US economy grew over these years (up to 2015), actual energy consumption lowed some where between 2.4 and 3%, depending on sources (I originally thought it was about a 1.5% decrease up to 2016). The basic truth is that overall energy consumption decreased while the economy grew during this period.

    This decreased consumption of energy alone (from 2007-2015) made a large % decrease in Co2 emissions in this period. Then, add on top of this the increase of the use of non fossil fuel sources (far less polluting renewable energy) which increased by 6% from 2007-15, along with other energy efficiency gains, and the impact of ngas during this period is dwarfed.

    Ngas was far from the driving force in reduction of Co2 emissions during the period of 2007-2016.

    Between 2007 and 2015, coal Co2 emissions reduced by 31.7%. Ngas emissions rose by 18.5%.

    The combined Coal and Ngas Co2 emissions (in million metric tons) in the electric generating sector (39% of the energy consumption in the US) decreased by 13.5% from 2007-2015. I do not ridicule this reduction, or ignore it. I’m putting it into proper perspective.

    In 2016, the % breakdown in the Utility Scale Electricity Generation sector (39% of the total energy use in the US) was 35% Nuclear + Renewables (20% and 15%), Ngas 34%, Coal 30% and 1% other.

    I’m simply stating that the increased use of ngas in the period 2007-2016 had the lowest impact on the reduction in overall Co2 emissions during the 2007-16 time period, and that massive investment in the extraction and distribution of shale gas is not a solution to the human caused climate change that you and most of your colleagues deny even exists.

    That investment, that belief, and that course of action is a distraction, and the problem.

    • I think my explanation is cogent and you apparently feel the same, so let’s allow our astute readers to evaluate and opine.

      • Tom,

        As I asked in my first response to please respond to the real data I presented that show a 9.4% reduction in Co2, while gas consumption actually declined a little (2008 to 2009).

        Your post above falsely asserts: “There’s no denying it; CO2 emissions began declining when natural gas became a serious substitute for coal in electricity generation; as the former accelerated big-time 2008 and the latter began to decline.”

        Explain the contradiction of your statement by the numbers.

        Here’s the numbers for ngas consumption from 2007 to 2016. I provided the link in my first response: (2007) 23,103,793, (2008) 23,277,008 (2009) 22,910,078 (2010) 24,086,797 (2011) 24,477,425 (2012) 25,538,487 (2013) 26,155,071 (2014) 26,593,375 (2015) 27,306,285 (2016) 27,490,647.

        How could a decrease in ngas consumption in 2009 from 2008, following a flat consumption figure in 2008 over 2007 possibly have caused a “big time” reduction in emissions (-9.4%) during those few years? Yes, coal declined in use and emissions, but ngas didn’t replace anything during that 9.4% reduction time frame.

        As you see, Ngas consumption didn’t occur much “big time” over 2007 until the end of 2012. I see how you might begin to use that phrase in 2012 (but that’s much later than 2008).

        I don’t point this out to your astute readers as an “angry artist”, just as a full time white male primary tax paying resident of Wayne County PA who thinks that opening up the Delaware River Basin to such large scale shale gas extraction as you would like is an abominable idea, and that massive investment in shale gas extraction and new infrastructure is a problem for, not a solution for, the future, and the impacts of Climate Changes that we face.

        • I already explained; you’re using total consumption data rather than natural gas used in electricity generation, which is what counts in this instance. You simply don’t like the answers and refuse to accept the data and words of the EIA and other reputable scientists. The charts and the statements are all easy to grasp but you choose to not understand them. I can’t help you if you insist on ignoring the facts about electricity generation and relying instead on irrelevant total consumption numbers.

          • Tom, you can deflect, you can obfuscate, but you can’t deny the reality and importance of the overall numbers in gas consumption in the US in relation to the overall reduction in Co2 emissions in the US, especially when you and the industry portray gas as the driving force behind the OVERALL reduction in C02 emissions in the US during the years 2008-2016.

            If “X” amount of gas is consumed in 2008, and “less than X” gas is consumed in 2009, what does it matter if gas normally consumed in one sector (say residential), is moved to be used in another sector (say electricity generation), when you then portray gas as the reason for the overall reduction in Co2 emissions?

            Have you and the industry not been portraying this?

            Yes, I am giving total gas consumption data in relation to total Co2 emissions reduction data over the years 2007-2016, because that is only what matters.

        • James..not so long ago coal was producing 50 percent of the United States entire electricity supply. Now it is closer to 30 percent. You chose to fight fracking and therefore natural in the exact moment that natural gas outcompeted coal in that electricty market, thereby reducing co2 emissions, not to mention of course other air pollutants. And by the way James many of your fellow fractivists and the organizations they belong to also fight nuclear energy as well. In fact food and water watch followed their ban fracking campaign in NY with a campaign against some nuclear subsidies. Tom who writes this blog might agree with food and water watch on that point based on a free market basis but don’t dare tell me food and water or other enirinmental groups oppose subsidies for renewables. It is a farce that antifracking groups claim the high road or moral ground because of climate change.

    • 51 percent of households in your state use natural gas to heat their homes now James. And no one is interested in your math. You have been opposed to fracking anywhere for how long now James? A long time right? Well the longer one is in your movement the more irrational and misinformed one becomes.

      You’re wrong about natural gas and the benefits it has brung from a reduction in co2 emissions And many people who know what they are talking about would tell you that.

  4. Unfortunately for the planet, it is nowhere near the amount of reduction we need to make in the time that we need to make the reduction, and we should make huge investments in renewable energy instead. THIS IS COPIED DIRECTLY FROM JAMES BARTH POST. All of your tutorial is mute seeing that the entire premise of this statement on which you base your entire diatribe is questionable at best, totally incorrect at worst and at this point in science hypothetical, theoretical and unquantified. But I can tell you, it sure does look like a pretty post.

    • Kevin, you sound like someone who is concerned about climate change but also like someone who has no real understanding of how the world is currently powered. The fact is that James Barth and the antifracking movement opposed natural gas in the exact time frame that natural gas has HISTORICALLY trumped coal and just narrowly mind you Kevin as the leading source for electricity generation. The gymnastics James Barth does to deny reality are exactly what the antifracking movement does for nearly every piece of information or fact about natural gas, fracking, pipelines and ferc. They manage to distort the data and reality so much that they literally turn it upside down.

      And no environmentalists were saying natural gas was not a significant improvement over coal until this movement was born and this antifracking movement is a fairly recent development too.

      So yes, natural gas is certainly not the solution to the whole energy/climate change conundrum, but it has helped and does help to reduce co2 emissions and reducing co2 emissions is beneficial.

      • maybe I did not articulate my point correctly. I am not agreeing nor disagreeing with anyones data, not one decimal point. what i question is – nowhere near the amount of reduction or the time we have.. where did this #### come from. there is ???? as to the cause of warming, is it natural or man made? as for the no understanding of how world is powered, i have 2 technical degrees and have been investing in energy stocks for 40 yrs

        • Ah so you are questioning man’s influence on changing climate or co2 emissions? Well if you have stock in exxon, their official stance was in support of the Paris agreement and climate change is a real risk they say.

      • Ms. Orlando, this all started when you posted the following link in this gas blog a few days ago.

        Karen Orlando
        on September 15, 2017 at 1:10 pm said:

        Did you notice that the link and the article declare that shale gas was the largest driver in overall US carbon reduction for the period 2005-2016? The EID article directly refers to that time period, and even states the carbon reduction figure as 14%, which is the overall number that I have been presenting data on.

        The data I have presented is neither “gymnastics” or “distortion” of facts. The data I present is a direct and true point of contradiction to the EID article to which you linked and quoted.

        In order to avoid the data that counter the false assertions of his beloved industry, and to confuse the issues, Tom Shepstone has deflected this discussion towards the electricity generation sector only, and the percentage changes that have occurred in coal and gas consumption within that 39% sector of energy consumption. Indeed, he has written this entire, irrelevant, graph laden blog post for that purpose.

        Mysteriously, he wrote “Jim Barth’s argument is about as silly as it gets, of course. He…uses natural gas consumption figures to make his faulty argument rather than natural gas used in electricity generation.”

        If anyone credits ngas as the primary driving force behind the approximate 14% reduction in OVERALL Co2 emissions during the period of 2005-2016, then one must look at the OVERALL consumption of ngas during that same period (and other factors the industry wants people to ignore).

        The equation is that simple as it relates to the link Ms. Orlando gave, and the assertions that the Energy In Depth Article make.

        • You’re not convincing anyone with this nonsense, Jim. It’s very simple; natural gas replaced huge amounts of coal in the CO2 production business of generating electricity and that is the principal cause of CO2 emissions reductions. Almost no responsible person believes otherwise, not at EIA, not at NOAA, not at prestigious universities, not anywhere but in your own mind.

          • Tom,

            You continue to spout gas industry rhetoric even as reality contradicts you. Absolutely no surprise there.

            You never presented to us the percentages of coal and gas consumed within the electricity generating sector in the period the EID article, and you, refer to.
            You do not provide them because the percentages contradict your claims that ngas is the driving force in the overall 14% reduction in Co2 emissions during the years 2005-2016.

            9.4% out of the overall 14% reduction in US emissions occurred during the years 2007-2009. Over those years, coal percentage of the electricity generating sector declined from 48 to 47.8 to 44% while gas percentage decreased and increased from 21.7% to 21.5 to 23.4%.

            Meanwhile, the amount of energy consumed in that electricity generating sector from 2007-2009 dropped a whopping 4.9%.

            Clearly, gas replacing coal had extremely little to do with that overall 9.4% drop in C02 emissions, and the 9.4% is the bulk of the 14% overall reduction listed for the years 2005-2016.

            Here are the percentages of coal and gas consumption in the electricity generating sector for the years 2007, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

            (2007) coal 48%, gas 21.7%
            (2008) coal 47.8%, gas 21.5%
            (2009) coal 44%, gas 23.4%
            (2010) coal 44.5%, gas 24.1%
            (2011) coal 41.9%, gas 24.8%

            I listed the additional years of 2010 and 2011 to show you that gas did not begin to replace coal in any significant percentage amount until 2012, when coal percentage in the electricity sector dropped to 37% and gas increased to 30.2%. Overall consumption in that sector also decreased by 1% in that year, and overall Co2 emissions were barely reduced further as gas continued to replace coal in percentage of through 2016.

            You and your puppet master EID continue to make false claims. Neither of you have a leg to stand on as I have continually shown by the numbers.

            If the Natural Gas Now blog didn’t exist, no one would post your false information.

          • Jim,

            As my father used to say; “have your fun.” The data is the data and because you seem to have so much trouble understanding graphs, I have added the actual source data to the post. You have cherry-picked certain years to make your point but the reality is that CO2 and coal use peaked in 2007 and it’s what happened since that matters. It’s interesting that you excuse me of falsehoods but refuse to address the fact the EIA, the source of our data, sees it as I see it.

  5. Electric Utilities convert their coal plant to Natural Gas [Combined Cycle] because of economics – CO2 emissions are an added benefit; Natural Gas fired base-loaded power plants save US residents money and reduce CO2 emissions.

    Converting a coal plant to natural gas should cost about $440/KW ($2011). The cost to retrofit a coal-fired plant to meet SOx,NOX and Mercury emission limitations should be about the same as converting to natural gas. The Operating Cost of natural gas is about 10% lower than coal-fired plants ($2011). Natural gas conversion, either base-loaded or peaking, would cost the electric utility less.

    Dr. Richard W Goodwin PE Environmental and Energy Consulting Engineer West Palm Beach FL 9/19/17

  6. Fractivists and other, similar knuckle dragging buffoons throw climate change around like it was actually something other than a computer model. So with climate change in mind, let’s talk AGW, Anthropogenic Global Warming theory….the premise that this lunacy is caused by man. NOAA is the primary source of these AGW studies and their “sky is falling, we’re all gonna die” predictions. I would like one person to show me just one NOAA study where the results do not fall within their very own margins of error….only one, that’s all I’m asking. Good luck with that. When a study, or a poll, or any such projection, etc. falls within its own margin of error, it’s statistically irrelevant.

  7. James , Damascus citizens is full of crap. As are you. I don’t read what you say because it is pointless to read the onslaught of gibberish and misinformation and distortion your movement provides. Maybe you didn’t hear me the first time I told you I was on two listserve with fractivists and witnessed not just a tremendous amount of lying and nonsense but the creation and distribution of a full on conspiracy theory on export about the port Ambrose lng import project. The very same facts your friends were handed about port Ambrose and the Rockaway pipeline were handed to the coast guard and Marad and the coast guard and Marad went with the version of reality I was presenting not your friends.

    James I’m not sure where you got it in your head that I should consider you as a are more reliable or informed source than the eia but you aren’t. Not by a long shot.

    Hey you don’t like eia well what about Gina McCarthy? She seems to be saying fracking and natural gas provided an enormous opprtunity to reduce air pollution and emissions.

    • None of this discussion had anything to do with Damascus Citizens, but you keep blathering about the group. The fact you didn’t read what I wrote, yet describe it as gibberish and misinformation says everything about what an idiot you are.

      • James I do not have to read your most recent upside down gibberish to know it is gibberish. As I said more than once to you I was on more than one listserve with antifracking and anti pipeline people and groups.

        You organization Damascus citizens intervened in the Rockaway pipeline project back in 2013. The contact was your lawyer. He was also the contact for nyh20. And then owen was a contact for sane energy and perhaps it was united for action. In addition to producing gibbersh and flat out disinformation your movement also is full of faux organizations or organizations that are simply the same rotating cast of characters.

        Shall I repeat for you again that food and water watch, Zack malitz (know how name james) , your pal josh fox, Catskill mountainkeeper and the Sierra club all promoted a conspiracy theory on the port Ambrose lng import project James? Your movement isn’t credible. No one should trust it including you.

    • Ms. Orlando, I would also add that if you had read my posts before responding multiple times with irrelevant references, and if you had bothered to look at the links to the information I provided, you would have seen that the numbers I presented came from the Energy Information Agency (EIA).

      You must therefore be out of your mind when you write that I presented myself as a “…more reliable or informed source than the eia…”, and then “Hey you don’t like eia well what about…”.

      • James you are someone who claims to be an expert, have been doing so for years and in reality you are just full of misinformation, hysteria and fear tactics. You are under the impression that people should counter your wild ramblings? Why? Because you are a fractivist? The truth is the opposite of what you say.

        Let me know what happened with that radon pipeline bill in NY State? Such a interesting testimony at the mockery of a hearing that was had, much like hearings of all kinds now for years.

      • The eia doesn’t say what you do James.

        By the way James no one told me the port Ambrose lng import project was reliant on the Rockaway pipe expansion in order to deliver incremental supply. I figured that out and then convinced the coast guard to change their eis on port Ambrose so they would be accurate.

        In other words James I don’t need you to teach me something. One of the reasons why I am able to learn is I pay little attention to miseducators like you and your movement and I seek put and find real information instead.

        The real information is still: natural gas trump’s coal for the environment in the present.

  8. Tom,

    Please read this carefully.

    Thank you for listing in the body of your blog post the numbers from 2007 through 2015 (Co2 reduction, coal consumption reduction, gas increase consumption) for people to refer to as YOUR numbers/EIA numbers.

    As your numbers show, I have not cherry picked anything, rather, I have analyzed the data in time frames as it should be analyzed, so that it shows the true picture of what occurred during that larger timeline of 2007-2015 in relation to Co2 decrease, coal decrease and gas increase in the years they actually happened.

    You, on the other hand, are the one who is cherry picking in order to isolate and compare the year 2015 to the year 2007, so that you can show the statistics favorable to increased gas consumption that you desire.

    You wrote “Note that CO2 emissions and coal use peaked in 2007 and it’s what’s happened since that matters.” Of course “what’s happened” since 2007 matters, but notably, you continually ignore the fact that the ngas increase did not start until the beginning of 2010, and that ngas did not replace coal as an energy source in the years 2007-2009. Despite this fact, you want people to believe that ngas should be credited for the decrease in Co2 during 2007-2009?

    Yes, when one compares the numbers for the year 2015 to the year 2007 one gets the result of 12.4% Co2 decrease, 29.3% coal consumption decrease, and gas consumption 41.3% increase.

    What I have pointed out numerous times, however, and what your own numbers show, is that when you compare the year 2009 to 2007, you get a Co2 reduction of 10.2%, a coal consumption decrease of 10.7%, and a ngas increase of a miniscule .0045%. There is absolutely no way that ngas can take credit for the reduction in Co2 emissions from 2007 to 2009, and those years reflect 82% of the reduction in Co2 emissions, and 36.5% of the decrease in consumption of coal that you are crediting to gas by comparing 2015 to 2007. As I have also shown before, energy consumption within the electricity generating sector decreased by 4.9% (2007-09). This is the overwhelming driving force for the reduction in Co2 emissions 2007-2009, and the reduction in coal consumption. Ngas was irrelevant (.0045 increase).

    If you are going to analyze the impacts of coal consumption decrease vs. ngas consumption increase on the reduction in Co2 emissions, the only way you can do that is by comparing the figures at the end of 2009 (beginning of 2010), to those listed at the end of 2015. Of course there are other factors that impact Co2 emissions reduction during this period, but I’ll be kind and just focus on the ngas vs. coal as you wish.

    The statistics for that time frame (2009-15) show a decrease in Co2 emissions of 2.35%, a coal consumption decrease of 20.9%, and a ngas consumption increase of 40.67%.

    If you want to analyze the relationship between coal consumption decrease and gas consumption increase in relation to reduction in Co2 emissions, you need to compare 2009 to 2015. That is when 99.9955% of the increase in ngas consumption that you list in your 2007-2015 comparison occurred (vs. the 63.5% of the coal consumption decrease you list that occurred).

    It seems clear to me that the reason you will not acknowledge the truth of this analysis, is because it greatly diminishes what you want to portray happened in the US from 2007-2015, which is to credit the increased use of ngas for a 12.4% decrease in Co2 emissions over an 8 year period, when it should only be partially credited for a 2.2% decrease in Co2 emissions over a period of 6 years.

    • I understand completely what you’re saying, but you ignore the bottom line, which is, in fact, what happened between 2007 and 2015. The longer period washes out annual fluctuations and it also reflects what you’ve totally failed to consider: that replacement of coal with natural gas doesn’t occur instantaneously. The process takes years and the availability of plentiful, inexpensive, clean natural gas meeting air emission standards was clearly a factor in coal plants closing and gas plants opening at the same or other locations two to three years later. That’s how it works and why the EIA credit gas as the key factor; something you refuse to address. You’re out on a limb on this one, Jim, and simply rationalizing what you want to believe and no one else does. None of your name-calling will change that.

      • Tom,

        I’m not ignoring the bottom line. I’m absolutely disagreeing with where you draw the bottom line as it pertains to crediting an increase in ngas consumption in relation to a decrease in coal consumption as the driving force behind the reduction in Co2 emissions.

        It is correct to compare 2015 to 2007 in relation to the reduction in coal consumption, and the reduction in Co2 emissions. If you were simply doing this, I would not have made a single comment. The numbers reflect these facts.

        However, it is not correct to include the coal reduction numbers and Co2 emission reduction figures that occurred during the period 2007 to 2009 while giving credit to ngas for that reduction in emissions during those years, when no increase in ngas consumption occurred during 2007-2009.

        You simply want to pad your percentages by including the 2007-2009 reduction figures when there was no increased use of ngas, in order to give credit to ngas when no credit is due.

        • Then, why didn’t you draw it at 2012 and not 2011, Jim? And, you continue to ignore that EIA graphs and conclusions which they made based on their analysis of their own data.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *