Fracking’s Existential Threat to Green Energy

Check out an excellent column today by Paul Driessen on the website. Paul is a senior policy adviser for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), and a senior policy adviser to the Congress of Racial Equality. He’s also author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power – Black Death.

In today’s column, Paul makes the point that the Sierra Club and other so-called environmental groups oppose clean-burning natural gas and shale drilling because it’s a threat to their alternative-energy-nirvana ideology (something MDN has long pointed out). The column starts this way:

The Sierra Club and other environmental pressure groups are redoubling their efforts to “stop fracking in its tracks.” No wonder. The technology is an existential threat to fundamental “green” dogmas.

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is a true “game changer.” In less than two years, this proven but still rapidly advancing technology has obliterated longstanding claims that we are running out of petroleum. Instead, the USA now finds itself blessed with centuries of oil and gas.

Poland and Estonia are using it, China has invited companies to the Middle Kingdom, Britain, Israel and Jordan are evaluating their shale deposits, and other nations are following suit – coaxing oil and natural gas from shale and other rock formations that previously had refused to yield their hydrocarbon riches.

By making more natural gas available, fracking has reduced the US price for this clean-burning fuel to under $3 per thousand cubic feet (or million Btu), compared to a peak of $8 a few years ago.

Natural gas is also supplanting coal for electricity generation. Due to excessive, mostly unnecessary new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, many US coal-fired power plants are shutting down. Replacement plants are far more likely to be gas-powered than nuclear, especially in the near term.*

But what about wind? Yeah…wind power will save us! Not so fast:

Natural gas also provides essential backup power for wind turbines. Without such backup, electricity generation from these projects would plummet to zero 70-80% of the time, affecting assembly lines, computers, televisions, air conditioners and other electrical equipment dozens of times every day.

Even harder for environmentalists to accept, cheap natural gas also makes it harder to justify building redundant wind turbines that require large subsidies to generate far more expensive electricity only 5-8 hours a day, on average, while killing large numbers of raptors, migratory birds and bats. It makes more sense to simply build the gas turbines, and forget about the mostly useless wind turbines.*

Read the rest of Paul’s enlightening column by clicking the link below.

* (Mar 28, 2012) – Fracking: An Existential Threat to Green Dogma

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