What Those Opposed to Gas Drilling Really Fear

Dave McCurdy is president and CEO of the American Gas Association. He’s also a former congressman (Democrat) from Oklahoma. In an interview with the Washington Times, he minces no words and says what MDN has been saying all along: Those opposed to shale gas drilling are motivated by an ideology, a preference for renewable energy. McCurdy points out what they really fear is that renewables can’t compete with natural gas based on economics. So that ideology and fear leads them to oppose natural gas.

The path to a national energy policy based largely on natural gas is becoming clearer as economic turmoil and rising oil prices cause lawmakers to take a second look at the clean-burning fuel trapped in underground rock, American Gas Association President and CEO Dave McCurdy said Tuesday.

In a wide-ranging interview, the one-time Democratic congressman from Oklahoma argued that the nation needs an “all-in” approach to break its addiction to foreign oil. He also decried the “fuel wars” that sometimes erupt between those who favor renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and others who believe natural gas, nuclear power and coal have a big role to play in the future.

“If you have a growing economy, this doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game,” Mr. McCurdy told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. “The pie is going to get larger. Consumer demand is going to increase.”

With the discovery of vast quantities of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region, which stretches from upstate New York south into Kentucky, Mr. McCurdy said the fuel has the potential to become the “foundation” of American energy. Critics contend hydraulic fracturing – the use of water, sand and chemicals to free gas in the Marcellus Shale – is a threat to water supplies and will pollute nearby waterways.

But what those opponents truly fear, he said, is a free market competition between gas and renewable fuels.

“I think a lot of their concern, or their opposition, is a little less about the risk of the actual production [of natural gas] than it is the potential disadvantage that renewables have from a cost standpoint,” he said.*

Read the rest of this excellent interview by following the link below.

*The Washington Times (Sep 20, 2011) – Using natural gas the only ‘good news story’