Why Environmentalists Hate Natural Gas

The dream of extreme environmentalists is to force people to use energy sources the extreme environmentalists deem suitable. Their desire is to mandate how people live, i’e., green communities, how much energy they use, and how energy is produced.

In short, curtail individual freedom.

Proof of their intent was the Waxman-Markey Bill that would have imposed draconian restrictions on Americans freedom, extending from the motors that could be used to forcing people to conform to energy usage in their homes. The 1,400 word Bill that failed in the Senate, is available here, https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/house-bill/2454

The only thing really standing in the way of extreme environmentalists is natural gas.

Their dream energy sources of solar and wind cannot achieve the same level of cost and reliability as electricity generated from natural gas.

I can hear the protests from the acolytes now, but even the Energy Information Administration (EIA) knows that electricity from solar and wind are more expensive than natural gas today, and will continue to be in 2019.

The EIA is biased toward wind and solar, yet their LCOE estimates for 2019, four years from now, are:

  • Natural Gas Combined Cycle 6 cents/kWh
  • Wind, onshore 8 cents/kWh
  • Wind, offshore 20 cents/kWh
  • PV solar 13 cents/kWh
  • Concentrating solar 24 cents/kWh

That’s the data published at http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

But in reading the data more carefully, note that onshore wind is given a capacity factor of 35%, while in actuality it has been 30% or less, which means the forecast is biased toward wind.

But this begs the question: Why is a U.S. Government agency publishing distorted information rather that current factual information?

Furthermore, what validity do their projections have when its clear the EIA is biased?

And this data ignores the fact that wind and solar are intermittent, actually unreliable in so far as the grid operators are concerned, because grid operators can’t rely with certainty that wind and solar will be there when they need it.

Why is it that extreme environmentalists consistently claim wind and solar generated electricity will be less costly … someday in the future?

Meanwhile, natural gas power generation equipment improves over time which lowers its cost.

Gas turbine power plant. Photo by D. Dears
Gas turbine power plant. Photo by D. Dears

Wind and solar are likely to remain more expensive for decades to come, while also requiring huge uneconomic investments in storage.

Without storage the green system will fail. See, The Duck Speaks Part 1,  and Part 2.

The savvy extreme environmentalists know this, which is why they have declared war on natural gas.

They know that low cost natural gas is plentiful in the United States, and will become more plentiful worldwide. See, New Age Dawning.

They also know that with methane hydrates the age of natural gas can extend for centuries. See, Natural Gas Bonanza from Hydrates.

For extreme environmentalists to succeed, they must stop the development and use of natural gas.

That is why there is a constant flow of propaganda in the media about the supposed terrible consequences of fracking; climate altering methane emissions from natural gas pipelines; supposed catastrophic consequences of climate change; coupled with a constant stream of misleading information about how wind and solar will, someday, be low cost producers of electricity.

Most Americans are astute, and will see through the bogus claims of extreme environmentalists.

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