The battle over natural gas is really a battle about renewables, says Dick Downey. They’ve gotten the massive subsidies and have generated little to show for it, while natural gas has become the nation’s energy choice through a system of largely free-market initiatives and consumers who were free to choose.
More than half (56%) the households in the USA, a total of 62 million, are heated with natural gas. Pipeline networks like the proposed Constitution Pipeline, deliver cheap, plentiful, and clean(er) gas to cities transitioning from heating oil. Over the last four years, coal-fired electric generation has fallen one third, from 53% to 36% for the same reasons. These trends are resulting in the lowest CO2 emissions in 20 years. All this in a free market. No cap-and-trade; no crony capitalism.
So why are the uber-greenies fighting gas down to the last molecule?
It’s simple when you follow the money. Gas trumps renewables for the foreseeable future. Gas is an efficient, scaleable, flexible energy product selling at a bargain price. Renewables aren’t. Without huge taxpayer supported subsidies, renewables will be gone with the wind.