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Response to MoonRiver (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:01 PM

16. I'm a shill for the country getting more competitive

 

I'm also a shill for producing more primary energy ourselves and sending less money to people who hate us and want to kill us. A low cost natural gas supply will give us an ability to compete with countries where labor might be cheaper, but gas costs are higher. Industries that are heavy users of gas will have a reason to invest here which will create jobs.

Natural gas is clean, a lot cleaner than the diesel that runs our trucks and buses. We have the technology to use compressed natural gas to run our heavy trucks and buses which would realize enormous improvements in air quality. There was a proposed amendment to the Transportation Bill last week to implement this, but the amendment was defeated. That was unfortunate.

I heard today that the cash price for natural gas had dipped below $2 per MCF. That is very cheap and while it may not stay that cheap long term, it is forecast to remain very reasonably priced (less that $5) for at least 10 years. As a point of reference, the price was about $8.50 in 2005. We have abundant supplies and should make use of this resource as much as we can.

There is a view on DU that fracking will invariably result in polluted water, but I strongly disagree. This is a minority opinion, but I am covinced that shale gas can be safely developed with hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling. The well casings are key and the few issues we've seen with water quality appear related to improper cementing of the casings rather than endemic to all fracking. Proper handling and disposal of fracking fluids is important and I think appropriate buffers around sensitive water sheds should also be required. No energy technology is without environmental impacts and fracking is no exception. There will be mishaps with it just as there are and will be with coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar and everything else. The potential benefits far outweigh the risks in my opinion.

My background is the electric power business, so I know a lot about what's going on with various fuels (natural gas and coal) and different generating technologies (conventional plus renewables like wind and solar. I'm not opposed to renewables, but at trhe same time, I dont see them as a panacea that will solve everything. Even with recent drops in price, they are still expensive and we don't have the infrastrucure in place to put large amounts of uncontrollable renewable generation on the power grid and keep it stable. There are people here who believe we can generate all our power from renewable sources, but that is just not possible in any foreseeable timeframe.

Fossil fuels are not going away in the foreseeable future. DOE's Energy Information Administration projects that we will still be generating more than 30% of our electricity from coal in 2035 with natural gas providing about 45%. IRC, the projection was about 15% from renewables by then.

I'm not a shill for fossil fuels, I'm just being realistic - we can't get along without them.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
MoonRiver Mar 2012 OP
TheMastersNemesis Mar 2012 #1
MoonRiver Mar 2012 #2
Snake Alchemist Mar 2012 #15
badtoworse Mar 2012 #3
grntuscarora Mar 2012 #4
Marrah_G Mar 2012 #5
badtoworse Mar 2012 #6
Marrah_G Mar 2012 #7
badtoworse Mar 2012 #9
MoonRiver Mar 2012 #13
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply I'm a shill for the country getting more competitive
badtoworse Mar 2012 #16
grntuscarora Mar 2012 #17
badtoworse Mar 2012 #18
grntuscarora Mar 2012 #22
badtoworse Mar 2012 #24
XemaSab Mar 2012 #19
badtoworse Mar 2012 #20
spanone Mar 2012 #8
badtoworse Mar 2012 #10
gratuitous Mar 2012 #11
badtoworse Mar 2012 #12
raouldukelives Mar 2012 #14
shanti Mar 2012 #23
Johonny Mar 2012 #21
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