Tags: Climate Change | Financial Markets | Global Warming | Joe Biden | coal | nuclear | iea

Natural Gas Lights the Way to the Future

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Friday, 23 August 2019 01:46 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Why Bail Out Nuclear, Coal When Natural Gas Is Lighting The Way to the Future?

There is virtually nothing scientific at this point about the "science" of climate change.

While green hysteria has been a constant for decades, the nature of that hysteria has constantly been in flux. The hole in the ozone layer was supposed to kill us, but now its self-repair "may not entirely be a good thing."

Global warming is an existential threat to our future, but please don’t watch this video (posted on YouTube) warning us about "The Coming Ice Age."

Appropriate environmental mindfulness is important, but it has become increasingly difficult to take calamitous predictions seriously when not a single one in the last 50 years has come true. But for adherents to the climate change doctrine, actual science is incidental: environmentalism is a secular religion.

As far back as 2009, the Freakonomics folks articulated how environmental fervor evidenced primitive religious behavior, and it’s even more clearly on display now. Meticulously separating recyclables that all get thrown in the trash anyway is keeping kosher. Fervent belief in an impending global catastrophe fills the human need for an apocalypse is at our doorstep. VIPs who fly in private jets to climate change summits are medieval priests who preach rules for thee but not for me. Calling someone a “denier” is branding them a heretic.

Particularly galling is the way mainstream Democrats lean into this. Joe Biden, the (shudder) Democrat frontrunner, recently said he chooses "truth over facts" while “rising star" Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., famously preached that being "morally right" is more important than being "factually correct."

This is frightening given that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal is a blueprint for total government takeover of our lives. But nothing bad has ever happened when religious extremism is combined with authoritarianism, right?

One of the articles of faith in the cult of climate change is that fossil fuels — any fossil fuels  — are evil, which misses the point that, for example, natural gas is the current solution for our energy and environmental needs.

Natural gas is a so-called "transition fuel." It reduces emissions as we move away from coal generation and eventually into something much cleaner, like nuclear, according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Furthermore, the report shows the growing role of natural gas confirms the importance of free market solutions, rather than government intervention or mandate, for energy needs.

In the United States, currently in a natural gas boom, the report found:

  • Since 2011 the U.S. has increased CO2 emissions savings annually, when savings were below 10 megatons. In 2018, they were 200 megatons.
  • Natural gas remains near the smallest CO2 emitter of primary energy sources in the United States. Natural gas contributes to just over 20% of emissions while coal and oil are about 75% combined.
  • Switching from coal to gas has been behind nearly one-fifth of total U.S. emissions savings since 2010
  • On average, coal-to-gas switching reduces emissions by 50% when producing electricity and by 33% when providing heat.

While most consumers aren’t benefiting directly from commodities trading in natural gas, the sheer volume is saving them money. Two states experiencing the biggest savings are Pennsylvania — where natural gas prices for electricity generation companies has dropped 79% in the last decade — and Ohio — where natural gas production has ballooned by almost 30 times since 2012, gas is 20% cheaper than the national average, and Buckeyes saved an estimated $40 billion from 2006 to 2016.

However, despite natural gas’s advantages, some in those states think the government should be sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong.

Ohio recently passed a bill into law with an expected estimated cost of $150 million annually to bailout two nuclear plants there were on the brink of financial ruin.

Pennsylvania also has similar legislation under consideration that would total nearly $500 million annually. Proponents of such legislation insist it will save consumers money in the long-term but that is difficult to believe.

And alas even the Administration is pushing to bailout nuclear and coal!

The Administration has shown favoritism to the coal industry in its nominations and suggested a bailout that could cost taxpayers $34 billion over two years. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has expressed inclinations to subsidize nuclear power plants that can’t stand up on their own.

There are definitely cleaner fuels than coal, and nuclear will solve the energy concerns of the future, but it’s not there yet. If legislators are serious about approaching emissions reductions with realistic goals in mind the advantages of coal to natural gas transition must be acknowledged.

Cleaner and cheaper energies should prevail in the free market and those extra resources will, pardon the pun, fuel the innovations of the future.

Jared Whitley is a long-time politico who has worked in the U.S. Congress, White House, and defense industry. He is an award-winning writer, having won best blogger in the state from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists (2018) and best columnist from Best of the West (2016). He earned his MBA from Hult International Business School in Dubai. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.  

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Natural Gas Lights The Way to the Future
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2019-46-23
Friday, 23 August 2019 01:46 PM
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