Appalachian Basin

Supporting Carbon Reductions While Opposing Hydraulic Fracturing Makes Little Sense

Vermont recently made news for it’s symbolic ban on hydraulic fracturing. It remains unclear why it makes sense to ban a proven technique that’s cutting energy costs, putting Americans back to work. Luckily, as papers across the country printed an Associated Press story highlighting the fact that U.S. carbon  emissions have dropped precipitously to 1992 levels, a telling piece came out of Vermont which provides insight into the misguided logic of those supporting carbon reductions while opposing natural gas development.

The Op-Ed, first published in the Green Energy Times, was penned by George Plumb, executive director of Vermonters for Sustainable Population, an organization focused on reducing the rate of population who, ironically, is calling on it’s membership to sign the pledge to reduce carbon emissions on it’s website’s homepage.

It’s a worthwhile cause (the reduction of carbon emissions, not population control), and one in which natural gas (and it’s continued development) is leading the charge.

To achieve carbon reductions,  Mr. Plumb decries the use of fossil fuels for pleasure and encourages readers to buy electric cars, ignoring the fact the majority of electricity in this nation is supplied by fossil fuels. Plumb also takes the sting out making personal sacrifices as tells you how to live, or what to avoid, in order to help reduce global carbon emissions. These sacrifices include:

  • Cruises
  • Trips to baseball games
  • Driving trucks or vans ( a staple of the trucking industry)
  • Sunday motorcycle rides
  • Flying
  • Visiting foreign countries
  • Riding mowers
  • Yards larger than 3-acres

Abandoning fossil fuels, or the activities American’s have enjoyed for decades to achieve this goal, is not a prerequisite.

Just as technology in the automotive industry, driven by consumer demand, has vastly improved the fuel efficiency of automobiles, the abundance of cheap, natural gas is driving the movement towards more natural gas vehicles. Their increasing use will continue driving the trend of carbon reductions.

We’re already seeing many companies making the conversion. From Frito-Lay, to Smith Dairy here in Ohio, CNG vehicles are becoming more utilized as shale development is keeping prices low, and the reduction of emissions is keeping desirability high. The best part is we are only beginning to grasp the full potential of shale development’s impact on the automotive industry – a large piece of the puzzle in America’s overall energy policy.

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