Natural Gas Derangement Syndrome
Aside from water, there may be no natural resource that provides more human benefit than natural gas. Yet Democrats, environmentalists, and the left see natural gas as a curse. However, it is far, far better than any of their "renewable" energy alternatives (wind and solar in particular).
They apparently forget that natural gas is itself solar energy; it exists because sunlight reached the earth millions of years ago. It's as if it has been in storage, waiting for humanity to learn how to access and make use of it.
Natural gas is easily transportable, storable, readily available, versatile, land-use efficient, out of sight, abundant, and energy-dense (especially when compressed 600-fold and converted into liquefied natural gas, LNG). Natural gas is ready to use as needed, unlike windmills and solar panels, which always need to generate new energy.
In 2009, innovations in fracking (hydraulic fracturing) and horizontal drilling increased the recoverable reserves of natural gas at least tenfold, especially those reserves within our own borders. Almost immediately, the price per British Thermal Unit dropped in the U.S. from $10 to $3 (where it has remained most of the time). The Democrat party hates fracking and would ban it altogether if it could.
Windmills and solar panels kill millions of wildlife creatures every year, including eagles, owls, and bats. Windmills are noisy and unsightly and require government subsidies, because the industry can't turn a profit on its own. They are also land hogs.
Natural gas, in contrast, is land-efficient. It is mostly below ground and out of view, just like the pipe that brings gas to your home. Access to gas deposits requires drilling a hole in the ground about the size of a dinner plate.
Natural gas helps release land for other purposes. Most people aren't aware that the primary raw material for fertilizer is natural gas. Fertilizer turbo-charges soil, often doubling crop yields. Our planet's population has never been as well fed as it is now, and natural gas has played a major role in making that happen.
What kind of worldview does it take to oppose such a blessing?
Ron Ross, Ph.D. is a former economics professor and author of The Unbeatable Market. He resides in Arcata, California and can be reached at email@example.com. His website is rossecon.com.
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