Natural Gas Drilling Now Under Attack

December/21/2009 16:03PM
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Believe it or not the same obstructionists who have destroyed any reasonable energy stratey in the US are trying to stop the remarkable new natural gas discoveries underway here in the lower 48. Same story, different verse.

A politician, a representative, is going to hold hearings on the new technology that is enabling the huge new natural gas discoveries. Those leading to the recent Exxon bid to buy XTO Energy. Those that have driven natural gas prices down. If I gave you ten guesses and five states where said representative might be living, you would get it in less than ten guesses. Where else and who else than Congressman Ed Markey from the great state of Massachusetts. Old Ed is the Chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The next in line to stop the drilling is naturally the Sierra Club. While Carl Pope, the executive director is in favor of tapping the huge new reserves of natural gas here, the rank and file is not. Local groups are starting the old lawsuit process to stop the progress. Mr. Pope knows that these huge untapped resources can replace coal fired power plants, the groups who reject the process want no progress. They want you, your kids, and your grand kids to go live in a cave. They won’t themselves, but they want your family to go back to the stone age, much like Al Gore. They claim fracing,short for hydraulic fracturing, to drill through shale, a new technology, may damage drinking water and create water shortages. There is no evidence of either, but they want it all stopped. Just like they stopped new nuclear power plants, DDT, and most conventional drilling for oil and gas here in the US.

What does this mean to you?

Let’s take the great state of Illinois. The state next closest to bankruptcy behind the greater state of California. California, the state that spawned many of the illogical environmental obstructions.

If cap and trade were to pass, Illinois would be hit hard. With 25 coal fired power plants, many if not all of these would close or convert to natural gas. Plus, Illinois, as a big coal mining state, would lose a lot of jobs. The National Association of Manufacturers says the state would lose between 88,400 and 120,240 jobs and electricity costs would go up by as much as 60%. Coal production would fall between 70.5 and 76.8 percent in the state. In 1990 Illinois produced 62 million tons of coal a year. Today, it’s about 31 million tons. China, which is ignoring the Clean Air Act and cap and trade may export a lot of coal from Illinois If three new mines seeking permits get approval. That’s a big if. Many of the 25 power plants can be converted to natural gas. The cost of power will go up, but not as much as they would with wind and solar.

If we polled the public, the majority would vote for an aggressive natural gas development plan for our country. But, the majority does not rule here by any means. Massachusetts doesn’t use as much natural gas as the rest of the country. They have the Kennedy family providing cheap fuel oil to widows and orphans since pipelines are not prevalent in Massachusetts. If the state and Markey want to continue to depend on the largess of foreign nations for gasoline and fuel oil, let them. But, the rest of the country has been moving on for years.

If we don’t get the Markey’s and the nut case environmentalists out of our lives, we will pay dearly.

The huge new reserves of natural gas have driven prices down and can be the transportation fuel and power fuel of the future since wind and solar will not fill the gap.

They are our reserves and our futures so we need to make sure Markey and the nut jobs butt out.

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