By Keith JohnsonTHE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Aug. 11, 2009
There’s another “clean energy summit” going on, this time out in Las Vegas, with all the usual suspects from Sen. Harry Reid to former vice president Al Gore hashing out ways to usher in the clean-energy revolution.
They’re still working out ways to boost renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the like, but one thing stands out from the beginning: The green patina that natural gas has suddenly assumed.
John Podesta, the head of the think tank Center for American Progress, twice cited the potential of natural gas—not just any gas, but “shale gas” extracted from underground rocks—to replace “dirty coal.”
(SPLASHDOWN RED ALERT!) Sen. Reid opened his remarks by saying, “I’ve been converted. I now belong to the Pickens church,” in reference to the plan pitched by Oklahoma oilman T. Boone Pickens to ramp up the role of natural gas (and wind power) in U.S. electricity generation. Natural gas has roughly half the carbon emissions of coal when used to generate electricity.
That echoes remarks House speaker Nancy Pelosi last year, when she referred to natural gas—which is, after all, a fossil fuel—as clean energy and an “alternative” to fossil fuels. At the time, that raised a mild firestorm. (SPLASHDOWN RED ALERT!) Now, the idea is apparently mainstream.
UPDATE, from our own Siobhan Hughes:
Energy Secretary Steven Chu continued the natural-gas lovefest, calling the Pickens plan a possible “transition” to a future filled with electric cars and biofuel-powered vehicles. Secretary Chu said that the double-whammy of electric cars and better biofuels could eventually “offload our total dependence on foreign oil.”
For more of the same CLICK HERE. Better yet, speak out! Write to Harry Reid, write to Nancy Pelosi, write to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Write to YOUR Senators and Representatives. Tell them you want BETTER SOLUTIONS NOW, including regulation of the natural gas industry to protect our air, land and water! Natural gas may have roughly half the carbon emissions of coal when used to generate electricity... but what about the carbon emissions cost of capture??? (Not to mention the other toxic, hazardous costs to public and environmental health and safety!) Ask them to investigate the real price we pay getting natural gas to market. Expose the Pickens Plan for the self serving 'solution' that it is...