Appalachian Basin

Blinded by the Sun

 In his NY Times op-ed entitled, “Here Comes the Sun,” Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman committed the common error of thinking a reputation as an expert in one field gave him authority to opine on subjects outside his expertise and thereby embarrassed himself. Contrary to Krugman’s cavalier and unsupported assertions that hydraulic fracturing causes widespread groundwater contamination and resulting social costs, there is no evidence of ongoing contamination after fracturing a million wells, the wastewater is easily treated to standards required by regulators, and the process has a excellent environmental track record compared to almost all other industries and requires no subsidies.

Krugman’s attempt to put a positive spin on solar and even the Solyndra debacle simply exposed his bias against fossil fuels in general. Krugman claims:

“Solyndra’s failure was actually caused by technological success: the price of solar panels is dropping fast, and Solyndra couldn’t keep up with the competition.”

Nonsense! The main reason for solar panel price decreases is simply an oversupply of panels caused mostly by both Chinese dumping and dwindling demand for the pricey energy source.

There is nothing wrong with solar energy except that even with massive expansion and the expensive required taxpayer subsidies it won’t make a dent in America’s expanding energy needs, not to mention the current 45% of electricity generated by coal. Contrastingly, natural gas use is easily ramped up to essentially eliminate coal in electrical generation and can make inroads into oil in transportation while simultaneously improving air quality, providing domestic economic stimulus and global competitive advantage with a low cost domestically produced energy source.

Also, contrary to Krugman’s assertions, natural gas comes with far less total social costs than other energy sources as it does not create water pollution, eliminates air pollutants such as SO2, NOx, and particulates, can be produced domestically, which reduces the military costs of protecting our foreign energy sources, and it requires no public subsidies for development.

Mr. Krugman If you simply don’t like fossil fuels just come out and say so, but don’t try to spin the truth to fit a bias, especially in a field outside your expertise!



Editors Note:  This article was originally submitted to the New York Times in response to Paul Krugman’s November 6th article entitled “Here Comes the Sun”




Post A Comment