Unstoppable Natural Gas: Fracking As Far As the Eye Can See

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


The future belongs to unstoppable natural gas, as far as the eye can see. Yes, renewables will be part of it, too, but fracking is the primary path to power.

Thursday and Friday’s Today In Energy posts from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) together provide a big picture of our energy future. It is one of unstoppable natural gas. Fracking is here to stay. The first post, by Richard Bowers, is about how natural gas has displaced coal in the Northeast with respect to electricity generation. The second, by the EIA staff, is all about the expected decline in nuclear energy capacity and generation. Put them together and all you see is unstoppable natural gas.

Three charts from the two posts tell the bigger story. First, there is this one depicting the trend in Northeast electricity generation:

Unstoppable natural gas

Notice how coal has shrunk, natural gas has boomed and everything else is pretty much the same. Renewables have grown but are such a small part of the mix as to be largely irrelevant. Rooftop solar and energy efficiency improvements have also contributed by depressing demand for electricity to be brought to homes and industry, but the large subsidies needed to do both limit their potential to do much more than that. The one inescapable fact discernible from this chart is this; natural gas has won the day.

The second chart tells us where the action has been and it’s all Pennsylvania, which has added a huge amount of natural gas generation as well as nuclear power and renewable energy. It’s interesting, in fact, that the Keystone State has added as much renewable energy as the Empire State. Moreover, it done so without the graft and right along side natural gas.

Unstoppable natural gas

Notice, too, how much growth in natural gas usage there has been in New Jersey and New York. This has happened while the Sierra Club of New Jersey and the NRDC gang have been protesting there’s no need for more natural gas for either state and opposing ever project to get it there.

Meanwhile, even as Governor Corruptocrat advances schemes to subsidize nuclear power  plants in Upstate New York so he can close one next to his Westchester home and appease the NRDC gang with fracking and pipeline turndowns, it is losing to natural gas in the same manner as coal. It can’t compete with natural gas. This third chart demonstrates:

Unstoppable natural gas

Notice the trend line for natural gas electricity generation as projected in the EIA reference case for 2017. It is steadily upward. So is the one for renewables, of course, which, yet again, demonstrates how the two sources are bound together on the same trajectory as if they were two sides of a ladder. Nuclear is projected to decline at the same time. Only subsidies will sustain it. It’s worth pointing out renewables, too, depend on such subsidies, whereas natural gas is free-market (non-distorted) private enterprise. The failure of one solar enterprise after another illustrates the futility of a subsidized existence.

We know, therefore, natural gas can and will continue to grow while nuclear, ever more dependent on subsidies, is likely to shrink. The growth of renewables, at the same time, is dependent not only on dispatchable natural gas to balance it out, but also the budgets and whims of government. That’s why it’s unstoppable natural gas and fracking is here to stay. Read these two articles and, if you’re a fractivist, go cry in your beer. It’s over.

Unstoppable natural gas


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13 thoughts on “Unstoppable Natural Gas: Fracking As Far As the Eye Can See

  1. While renewables can act as a supplement for far flung areas such as rural communities that can make use of their surrounding resources such as agricultural wastes, conventional fuels like nat gas are always going to be needed to maintain a reasonable quality of life as in the 21st century frame of mind. Urban areas produce so much waste that even the most ardent of recycling programs cannot reuse everything. Of course where there are people, there is poop… and poop can also be another form of supplemental energy. Once again, nat gas will be needed for manufacturing, even for making the same facilities that produce “renewables”.
    The common goal should be “energy conservation”… it promotes the nat gas industry and the renewable ones as well. It also puts the end to the argument of many of the anti-frackers out there that say we have a less than finite resource.
    Of course there will always be those who are in the “protesting business” and they will move on to something else, ironically something they were once “for” in the past.

  2. Well the future looks bright for natural gas except what happened in NY State and now Maryland? How is natural gas “unstoppable” when getting it out of the ground in NY State and Maryland isn’t possible? Sure new york uses natural gas and a lot of it. More than before the fracking debate so natural gas use isn’t imperiled in NY State in reality. Producing it? Banned.

  3. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/frackfeed-google-under-pressure-to-recognize-anti-fracking-activism-as-fake-news-2017-05-11?mod=mw_share_twitter

    This is an interesting campaign though I doubt it will work. It would be interesting if one attempted to locate all the misnformation one can find on fracking and natural gas and pipelines now.

    Unfortunately the biggest problem is when that misinformation is in the news. And that problem is massive.

  4. All the more aggravating that in the totally corrupt one-party monarchy that is NY, this truth is completely subverted while NYC wages war on upstate.

    • Sorry but there are two parties in NY State. The ban on fracking did not happen in a one party bubble. And New York City didn’t ban fracking nor did it deny a permit to the constitution pipe and this latest pipeline. The DEC did that. And with the fracking decision the DOH had a hand in that.

      • Spare me the lecture Orlando. You don’t even understand sarcasm- John Flanagan is cuomo’s suck-up BFF and a rubber stamp for the downstate dem agenda. In upstate it’s de facto taxation without representation.

        • Sarcasm is my middle name Keith. Let me know why the down state Dem agenda was all about fracking in the southern tier anyway? Maybe focus your ire on the actual organizers and people, including politicians, who were the antifracking movement. It makes little sense for the millions living downstate to be epically focused on natural gas production that wouldn’t even have occurred near them does it?

  5. Natural gas is supposed to be the bridge fuel to renewables. Problem is that fractivists are opposing building the bridge in some areas that are not even in their own backyards. By denying pipelines and demanding people use renewable energy now they demand that energy be wind or solar. They can’t see that natural gas can be used for heating and cooking as well as generating electricity. Also natural gas generators can be used for when the grid power goes out and help to keep the beer cooled in NY when that happens.

    Wind turbines and solar panels don’t work when there is a hurricane or blizzard in areas that are being denied natural gas now.

  6. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but natural gas has nearly single-handedly stopped acid rain in the Adirondacks. I am personally aware of a least two lakes in the upper Hudson River, near the confluence with the Boreas River that have recovered so well that for the first time in 80 years they are reproducing their own trout without restocking. Here is a story that ought to be researched and expanded. Get a grant someone, I will tell you where to start.

      • Enough of a handful of folks having the attitude that they’d rather pedal in freezing rain than contribute to acid rain (to fondly recall a favorite one of my lines from back in those pre-“f”-word days; I used it on the more-environmental-than-you-or-me’s back then and I’m using it on you guys now) was probably also a factor.

  7. Pingback: #WINNING: USA fracks its way to a fuel surplus

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