Appalachian Basin

The Natural Gas Boutique Lie-In

Way out of style natural gas opponents who live in a world where the 1960’s just go on ad infinitum providing a spoiled generation opportunities to act up in the shadows of their parents, are at it again, as Bob Tiberio notes in this reflective piece about their latest plans for a bout of silliness.

The drama queens of the natural gas opposition will hold their breath until they turn blue if Governor Cuomo doesn’t ban shale gas development in New York. Egged on by a few attention-starved celebrities, they will kick and scream and pretend to drop dead in a sixties style “die-in” staged at the capital in Albany and designed to disrupt the State of the State address. But, their adolescent antics will impress only each other. Political tantrums are out of style.

These pretenders should be “dying” to bring opportunity to NY, not trying to kill our jobs. Of course the “die-in” is a “lie-in” and a farce. The idea that shale gas development is a mortal danger will be news to the people of Pennsylvania who are alive and living very well because of the benefits of natural gas. Recent polling shows that Pennsylvanian’s who actually live where shale gas development is happening strongly support it.

aging-hippyBut what do they know? Science-challenged entertainers from New York City know better, right? If these out-of-touch actors get their way and shale gas development is banned, not only will thousands of jobs be lost, but many people will die prematurely from respiratory disease due to the increase in harmful pollutants produced by burning other fuels. That’s a fact according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is surely a credible source for the die-in folks. But, the number of people who would be harmed from shale gas development in New York is almost certainly zero. The number that would benefit: millions.

We know this because after years of production from thousands of gas wells in Pennsylvania, even the Park Foundation funded “Duke” studies show no contamination of water wells by hydraulic fracturing. But studies show every person in the Keystone state has benefited. And in Ohio? No harm there either. As Neil Young might sing if he was performing at the anti’s concert, “ZERO dead in O-HI-O.” Instead, Ohio is enjoying an industrial resurgence fueled largely by inexpensive shale gas. Voters in these important swing states will certainly reject any politician who threatens their long-awaited economic recovery.

Dakota

Yoko Ono’s and Sean Lennon’s Natural Gas Heated Home

By the way, the buses that bring natural gas opponents to Albany from out of state might be running on natural gas. That would reduce globe-warming carbon dioxide by half compared to alternatives. U.S. carbon emissions are at a 20-year low and falling thanks to natural gas. Going to Albany by plug-in electric? Natural gas produced about half the electricity.

The buildings where anti-gas activists will find warmth on a cold January day in Albany will probably be heated by natural gas. And, the food they eat after returning from the dead will likely be cooked with it. Unfortunately, entertainers are good at making scare-mongering seem fashionable. After all, many act out fiction for a living.

The irony is that a lot of these “1%ers” have big carbon footprints that maintain their high “quality of life.” But quality of life for most of us starts with the ability to pay our bills and feed our families. Without the right to lease for gas development, many taxpayers in New York can no longer afford these basics, let alone subsidize expensive energy systems touted by anti-gas activists. Alternative energy is still mainly a boutique energy source for the well-to-do.

We trust Governor Cuomo has the compassion and good sense to revive the Southern Tier’s slowly dying economy by finally approving responsible natural gas development, and perhaps the courage to say so in the State of the State. This nonsensical “die-in” may remind him of the hope that will surely die without shale gas development in New York.

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