The Spokesman-Review June 6 editorial: “… the EPA is requiring power companies to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2005 to 2030. We’ve editorialized that it would be better for Congress to come up with a solution.” However, the United States has already reduced its emissions since 2007 by 17 percent, to early 1990s levels.
This amazing achievement has not been by governmental coercion, as the editorial advocates, but by private enterprise replacing coal with natural gas. It costs half as much to produce a kilowatt of electricity in the U.S. from natural gas as coal, with 44 percent lower carbon emissions. As a result, power-generating companies have shifted significantly from coal to gas since 2007. This trend will accelerate.
Transportation is the next existing market for expansion of natural gas use. Natural gas carbon emissions are 25 percent lower than those for gasoline, a further significant emissions reduction.
As a retired oil company geologist who knows the facts, I thank new developments in fracking technology (widely used since 1948) for this blessing.
Before spouting specious, fractured fairy tales (Bullwinkle!) about fracking, you should read John Grave’s “Fracking: America’s Alternative Energy Revolution.” He’s not in the petroleum industry.