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CO2 Levels Lowest in 20 Years Due to Markets, NOT Government: DoE EIA

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posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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The U.S. Deppartment of Energy,of Solyndra and A123 fame, revealed (to NO notice from the MSM) that during our "recovery," U.S. CO2 emissions have dropped to their lowest level in DECADES!

Even more ignored (if that is possible) is that the reduction is due to MARKET FORCES, rather than govenment subsidies, give-aways, loans and grants!


U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from energy use during the first quarter of 2012 were the lowest in two decades for any January-March period. Normally, CO2 emissions during the year are highest in the first quarter because of strong demand for heat produced by fossil fuels.

U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in early 2012 lowest since 1992

Various goverment and industry officials have attributed the reduction to the increase in the availability of natural gas as a substitute for coal-fired power generation. (Thank God for fracking.)


[G]overnment officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.
...
Both government and industry experts said the biggest surprise is how quickly the electric industry turned away from coal. In 2005, coal was used to produce about half of all the electricity generated in the U.S. The Energy Information Agency said that fell to 34 percent in March, the lowest level since it began keeping records nearly 40 years ago.

CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low

Of course, climate scientists and the MSM were caught completely off-guard. In their eyes, the only solution to man-made problems is more government intervention and spending (their bread and butter).


Many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, said the shift away from coal is reason for "cautious optimism" about potential ways to deal with climate change. ...Mann called it "ironic" that the shift from coal to gas has helped bring the U.S. closer to meeting some of the greenhouse gas targets in the 1997 Kyoto treaty on global warming, which the United States never ratified.
...
"There's a very clear lesson here. What it shows is that if you make a cleaner energy source cheaper, you will displace dirtier sources," said Roger Pielke Jr., a climate expert at the University of Colorado.

Inpi] a little-noticed technical report, the U.S. Energy Information Agency, a part of the Energy Department, said this month that total U.S. CO2 emissions for the first four months of this year fell to about 1992 levels.


And, despite internal criticism, and the Obama administration's attempts to adopt IPCC and UN standards as our own, the international community ackowledges that the US is leading the way in cleaner energy production.


The International Energy Agency said the U.S. has cut carbon dioxide emissions more than any other country over the last six years. Total U.S. carbon emissions from energy consumption peaked at about 6 billion metric tons in 2007. Projections for this year are around 5.2 billion, and the 1990 figure was about 5 billion.

hosted2.ap.org...

Even so, leave it to environmentalists to see the cloud instead of the silver lining, as they bemoan the turn away from more subsidies to better market economics. With lower costs and fewer emissions, a lot of their government and "progressive" funding has dried up or been diverted to ther issies. So, they cry out that phenomenally better CO2 results are OK, but 'what about all the other bad stuff that might happen?'


Environmentalists say that the fluids can pollute underground drinking water supplies and that methane leaks from drilling cause serious air pollution and also contribute to global warming. The industry and many government officials say the practice is safe when done properly. But there have been cases in which faulty wells did pollute water, and there is little reliable data about the scale of methane leakage.

"The Sierra Club has serious doubts about the net benefits of natural gas," said Deborah Nardone, director of the group's Beyond Natural Gas campaign.

"Without sufficient oversight and protections, we have no way of knowing how much dangerous pollution is being released into Americans' air and water by the gas industry. For those reason, our ultimate goal is to replace coal with clean energy and energy efficiency and as little natural gas as possible."

Wind supplied less than 3 percent of the nation's electricity in 2011 according to EIA data, and solar power was far less. Estimates for this year suggest that coal will account for about 37 percent of the nation's electricity, natural gas 30 percent, and nuclear about 19 percent.

Some worry that cheap gas could hurt renewable energy efforts.


And guess what? Fast on the heels of Jim Hansen's (faulty and wrong) NYT op-ed that "it's too late to turn back" without massive government intervention, Michael (Hockey Stick) Mann applauds the results and is actually cheered that the markets are doing what governments and Kyoto Protocols never could!

Despite unanswered questions about the environmental effects of drilling, the gas boom "is actually one of a number of reasons for cautious optimism," Mann said. "There's a lot of doom and gloom out there. It is important to point out that there is still time" to address global warning.


No wonder the New York Times, MSNBC, and their ilk have ignored this remarkable and rematkably important change.

Do Not look for this soon on your favorite newsstands.

deny ignorance
jw
edit on 16-8-2012 by jdub297 because: sp




posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 04:09 PM
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reply to post by jdub297
 


Poor Al Gore.......guy just can't get a break can he!


Kind of begs the question, why Obama is shutting down all of the coal power plants(with the exception of those owned by GE) then doesn't it?
edit on 16-8-2012 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-8-2012 by seeker1963 because: spelling



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 04:14 PM
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sooooo........................

How does this affect global climate study?



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 04:19 PM
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reply to post by seeker1963
 

Obama said in 2008 that he would bankrupt anyone who wanted to build a new coal plant, and he's definitely on his way to doing that through the EPA. I have spoken with many people in the coal and the power industry, and they tell me tht it is not regulation but simple economics that is causing the change-over to gas from coal.

When your fuel costs can be cut to 1/3 of what they are, and they are your largest operating expense, it makes sense to make the change.

If you could power your car with LNG for $1.50/gallon with no loss of performance would you do it?

That's why many city buses, commercial vehicles and local governments have already made the switch.
jw



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by grey580
sooooo........................

How does this affect global climate study?


If you listen to Jim Hansen, Hillary and the IPCC: Not One Bit.
We're already doomed unless we send $100,000,000,000 annually to the likes of Somalia, China and other "developing" nations.

jw.



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:14 PM
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Yes thank God for totally harmless fracking; and thank God for members who make overly generalised statements about ‘environmental scientists’ whatever that’s meant to mean and then claim at the end of their rant they’re denying ignorance.








posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:24 PM
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The problem is that once enough people change over to Nat gas it won't be cheap any longer.

I also don't believe that the mildest winter we have had for 20 years has nothing to do with the lower co2 emissions.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 12:42 AM
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reply to post by 1littlewolf
 


Hysterical reactions and unsubstantiated beliefs or suspicions prove nothing about fracking.


An article of faith among many current environmentalists is that a particular method of extracting natural gas from the earth -- hydraulic fracturing, or fracking -- is dangerous.

The EPA got into the act by conducting it own sampling study of private drinking water.
The results were released today and could not be more clear: There was no groundwater poisoning.

"Based on the outcome of [its] sampling, EPA has determined that there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the Agency," the EPA press release says.

The water does have contaminants ... but none that can conclusively be tied to gas drilling. Instead, all the chemicals found in these few samples of Dimock drinking water are present naturally.

EPA destroys anti-fracking dogma

Environmentalists find it particularly easy to ignore the real costs and use of limited, non-renewable resources involved in the "renewable" energy goddess to which they bow and from whom they receive their grants, subsidies loan guarnatees and copyright royalties.


The basic premise of alternative energy is that widespread deployments of wind turbines, solar panels, and electric vehicles will slash hydrocarbon consumption, reduce CO2 emissions, and give us a cleaner, greener, and healthier planet. That premise, however, is fatally flawed, because our planet cannot produce enough non-ferrous industrial metals to make a meaningful difference, and the prices of those metals are even more volatile than the prices of the hydrocarbons that alternative energy hopes to supplant.

The Alternative Energy Fallacy

The increasing availablility of cheap and cleaner gas reserves is either denied or disparaged through misleading accusations of environmental damage, as they continue killing eagles, migratory fowl, and otherwise destroy natire to support their agenda. Those aren't real costs, anyway, if they fit the agenda, are they?

USGS scientists and their colleagues reviewed the scientific literature on the effects of utility-scale energy development (wind and solar) and operation on terrestrial, non-flying wildlife. They found that while there is a growing and comparatively large body of information on the effects of wind energy on birds and bats, little information exists in the peer-reviewed scientific literature to evaluate the effects of wind or solar facilities on terrestrial wildlife in the world, including in offshore environments. Potential effects of such facilities include habitat modification and fragmentation, as well as effects from noise, dust, and roads and traffic.

Scientists Discuss Renewable Energy's Effect on Wildlife

deny ignorance

jw
edit on 17-8-2012 by jdub297 because: sp



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 08:44 AM
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I dont think it was just market forces. We had one the warmest if not warmest winters on record in the U.S. I live in Michigan and had broccoli and cabbage growing all winter. Less need to heat my home and didnt warm the car up before going anywhere. Less fossil fuels burnt for that reason as well.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 09:22 AM
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reply to post by jdub297
 



Hysterical reactions and unsubstantiated beliefs or suspicions prove nothing about fracking.


Well that’s the thing though…. Nothing has been proved about fracking.

So obviously you did not actually watch any of the videos and instead went on a mad dash to find one-off examples to support your anti-environmentalist crusade. Your propaganda article does nothing to further your claims as it only aplies to one isolated (I assume) town in the U.S whereas fracking occurs or is planned to occur over vast areas across the globe.

I am all for natural gas if it can be extracted safely. It is a much cleaner and cheaper energy source than those we currently rely on and a good interim measure until we are able to progress to a completely clean source of energy.

But as a geologist who works within the mining industry (and has also done some hydro-geological work) I have seen a few cases where one ill thought out drill hole has drained entire aquifers. Now imagine the damage a regular array of these drill holes could cause to underground water body, especially considering they are not only fracturing the rock they are also injecting a number of chemicals (and sand) many of which have been shown to be carcinogenic.

It takes years of study to fully understand just one aquifer, let alone the intricacies of many groundwater systems and how they are linked over the geographical extents to which fracking is now occurring. Many of these areas extend well into populated areas that have no choice but to draw their water from the ground.

Would you be comfortable having a glass of water mixed with fracking fluid? I didn’t think so….

Deny Ignorance




edit on 17/8/2012 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 08:45 PM
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reply to post by 1littlewolf
 

You seem to believe that these You Tube clips are brand new, and that I;ve never seem them, or any of dozens of others. I don't feel the need to publish the results of every safely fracked well, or to address every mistaken or misleading attribution of problems to fracking. Education of the public would go a long way toward making valid criticisms stand out,as well as stopping spurious ones in their tracks before their published without corroboration on YouTube.

The acts of an idiot do not condemn an industry.
I was raised in So. Texas, and we fracked two scrubber wells; each about 300yards from our house and within 1,000 feet of the Carrizo Springs aquifer from which we drew our water.

The wells produced another 10 years and our water well flows clean and clear to this day.

Neighbors for miles in every direction shared similar experiences and several of us sat on one or another of the local Water Boards charged with guaranteeing safe practices, qulaified operators, and, above all, sacrosanct water resources.

The largest, and most valid, complaints are about unqualified operators or incorrect practices.
Neither of these say anything about the efficacy or safety of fracking itself.

Get over the hysterics and self-aggrandizement.

deny ignorance

jw
edit on 17-8-2012 by jdub297 because: sp



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 08:48 PM
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any thread that has the phrase "thank god for fracking" needs to be dumped

holy moly



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by syrinx high priest
any thread that has the phrase "thank god for fracking" needs to be dumped

holy moly

Your post reveals your complete lack of knowledge of a process that has been used safely and effectively for almost as long as there's been an oil & gas industry.

Given what I've seen of farming, production, packaging and transport, anyone who would say "thank God for spinach," or tomatoes, or potatoes or bottled water, isn't paying attention.

Any post that is based upon ignorance should be ignored.
jw



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 09:51 PM
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reply to post by jdub297
 


There’s no hysterics here, and as for self-aggrandizement I suggest you look in the mirror.

Just the opinion of someone who actually works in the mining industry itself and has seen the damage first hand caused by drilling in or around underground water tables without a complete understanding of what’s involved.


Originally posted by jdub297

You seem to believe that these You Tube clips are brand new, and that I;ve never seem them, or any of dozens of others. I don't feel the need to publish the results of every safely fracked well, or to address every mistaken or misleading attribution of problems to fracking. Education of the public would go a long way toward making valid criticisms stand out,as well as stopping spurious ones in their tracks before their published without corroboration on YouTube.



Yet because they exist on Youtube you completely choose to ignore them.... smart. As for public education what exactly do you suggest we teach them?

Do you really believe that aquifers are completely isolated systems? Do you really think the structures which contain underground gas will contain fracking fluid in the same way? Gas is trapped because it is gas, and as it is lighter than the surrounding materials it rises up toward an impervious layer. If you inject fluid in order to fracture the rock layers which contain it not only is it completely impossible to predict exactly where the gas may bleed to, the fluid itself cannot be trapped by the same structures as the gas because it is heavier and will therefore sink, often mixing with the groundwater in the process.

I’m glad the fracking near your house did not affect your drinking water, and I’m sure you could come up with hundreds of similar stories. But to a certain extent you just got lucky that the rock structures which contained the gas near your house were what how they expected them to be. But it could easily have been the other way around. What if the gas had extended just a little further (say 300 yards) towards your house? Chances are you would not be as happy as you are now.

The drilling which is done to understand these underground containment structures is done on a very wide spacing, and then they simply connect the dots. But the fact is you can never be sure what kind of geological structures lie in between the strat holes.

As it stands at the moment the fracking industry in general are not even required to disclose what they are pumping into the watertable; and on the whole the guidelines and safety standards which govern them are very weak. Why? The work required to understand all the intricacies involved simply has not been done and as of yet is just not required to be done. The only majority of information gathered is from mining industry itself, and that information is mainly focussed on extracting the gas from the ground, not in keeping you or me or your neighbours safe.

I don’t care how much you jump up and down about the well near your pappy’s house or how many big words you can pull from Thesaurus.com; the simple fact is we have no ideas how this will affect the land and the water contained within in it in the long term on the scale which it is being now carried out today.



edit on 17/8/2012 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by 1littlewolf
 


Just the opinion of someone who actually works in the mining industry itself and has seen the damage first hand caused by drilling in or around underground water tables without a complete understanding of what’s involved.


I completely understand and appreciate your concern. But "drilling in or around groundwater" is much broader than fracking. You seem to presume that all fracked shale-gas fields lie above potable groundwater.

Again, coming from South Texas, and depending upon the Edwards, Carrizo, and Gulf Coast aquifers for 100% of my usable water, I am well aware of the dangers to and the value of these resources. I worked for a while for the LCRA trying to preserve our surface water resources and aquifer recharge zones. I care deeply about pure water.

However, people seem to think that injection wells are a new phenomenon.
They are equally unaware that for almost 100 years injection wells have been used to dispose of wastes, recover oil and sulfur, and enhance production by injecting foreign substances directly into the aquifer!

So, I can appreciate your concern.
But I hope you can understand my consternation at all of the hyperbole about fracking near water, when we've been shooting crap straight into it for dozens of decades and dozens of purposes, without as much as a peep from the MSM, environmentalists, or mining engineers.

Sometimes, a little perspective helps us understand relative risks and relative threats.
So, when I speak of "education," it means that there are long-standing, present, verifiable threats to our water resources that are more serious than what we are hearing about fracking.

The truth is, it is the relation of fracking to fossil fuels that drives this hysteria. This is a "green energy" driven issue, more than a clean water issue. They majority of activists are pissed-off by natural gas production.

No one seems to give a damn that we've injected uranium, salt water, human waste, industrial waste directly into water supplies since the early 20th Century.
Not even mining engineers.
They're angry about natural gas production.

jw




edit on 17-8-2012 by jdub297 because: sp



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 11:28 PM
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Why does your title say;




CO2 Levels Lowest in 20 Years Due to Markets, NOT Government: DoE EIA


But the body of your post and all the links say;




U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from energy use during the first quarter of 2012 were the lowest in two decades


There is a difference between what YOU state in your title and what you say in youir post that is at best misleading.

CO2 levels are at their HIGHEST levels in at least the past 400,000 years. U.S. CO2 EMISSIONS are at their lowest in decades.

One is to be celebrated, one not. Guess which is which.

And your statement that it was due to markets, NOT government is misleading also.

I don't think CAFE standards were enacted due to markets, the Gov might have something to do with that.

All in all, -12 stars for false and/or misleading information.

Better luck next time.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by ErEhWoN
 


1. Given limited space for titles, I do what any journalist does; use the shortest and fewest words that convey the substance. The opening statement makes it perfectly clear this is as measured from energy production, not ambient levels in any specific area of the world. If you can get to the 5th line of the intro, you know all the relevant parameters/qualifications. So,

2. CAFE has NOTHING to do with enrgy production. Therefore,

3. Guess where you can put ALL my stars and flags, for all I care.

deny ignorance ( and officiousness)

jw
edit on 17-8-2012 by jdub297 because: sp



posted on Aug, 18 2012 @ 07:08 AM
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reply to post by jdub297
 




Originally posted by jdub297

I completely understand and appreciate your concern. But "drilling in or around groundwater" is much broader than fracking. You seem to presume that all fracked shale-gas fields lie above potable groundwater.


Hey jdub, I think we probably got off on the wrong foot so to speak. Despite my background I am a bit of a greenie at heart and probably took to heart some of the generalizations made in your OP.

The objections I have aren’t so much to do with drilling around potable groundwater. My examples of drill holes destroying groundwater were more to do with perched aquifers which while not directly related to the subject at hand, did open my eyes to the damage which can be caused when such projects are undertaken with very little forethought involved.

One thing to keep in mind is that although ground water does occur in various pockets and is not necessarily completely continuous, the zone of saturation within the ground is; and it is what essentially links all aquifers across the continent. There is no such thing as a completely isolated aquifer. It may take only a few days for water to permeate through a certain section of ground, or it may take a few millennia but the movement never stops.


Again, coming from South Texas, and depending upon the Edwards, Carrizo, and Gulf Coast aquifers for 100% of my usable water, I am well aware of the dangers to and the value of these resources. I worked for a while for the LCRA trying to preserve our surface water resources and aquifer recharge zones. I care deeply about pure water.


Thanks for sharing and now I have a much better perspective of where you’re coming from…


However, people seem to think that injection wells are a new phenomenon.
They are equally unaware that for almost 100 years injection wells have been used to dispose of wastes, recover oil and sulfur, and enhance production by injecting foreign substances directly into the aquifer!


What you may or may not understand is that fracking as it is being carried out to day is a vastly different affair to simply injecting pockets of coal seam gas with a saline solution which is how it was traditionally done. It is also carried out on a much larger scale than any of the waste disposal wells that you talk of.

What they are chasing now is shale gas which though much harder to obtain has a much vaster extent. It is only since the late 90’s that advances in horizontal drilling technology and more pertinently advances in ‘fracking fluid’. The fracking fluid of today is not simply just injected to push out the gas; it is now designed to disintegrate rock and create pathways through the various strata of interest as well as allowing them to stay open.

These advances have only now made vast basins of shale gas across the globe profitable whereas before they were never even considered. And these areas contain 100’s of millions of people.


So, I can appreciate your concern.
But I hope you can understand my consternation at all of the hyperbole about fracking near water, when we've been shooting crap straight into it for dozens of decades and dozens of purposes, without as much as a peep from the MSM, environmentalists, or mining engineers.

Sometimes, a little perspective helps us understand relative risks and relative threats.
So, when I speak of "education," it means that there are long-standing, present, verifiable threats to our water resources that are more serious than what we are hearing about fracking.


Because this type of fracking is in its infancy, we really don’t have any idea about the long term ramifications. Mining companies keep the ingredients of their fracking fluids a closely guarded secret for commercial reasons but in order to be effective they have to contain a number of chemicals which are known carcinogenics. Another concern is simply the amount of water needed to effectively frack a specific area. This will far outstrip any water needed to supply the same area for agricultural purposes; and on top of that all the water itself will be mixed with the fracking fluid/gel as opposed to simply irrigation water maybe mixing with a bit of fertilizer.

My last concern is simply the unprecedented scale in which previously impervious strata will be shattered, thereby running the risk of much more saline water mixing with what are currently potable groundwater sources.

And the scale at which all of this is planned to be carried out on will make your faecies/uranium injected wells look no worse than some guy chucking a fast food wrapper out of his car window.


The truth is, it is the relation of fracking to fossil fuels that drives this hysteria. This is a "green energy" driven issue, more than a clean water issue. They majority of activists are pissed-off by natural gas production.

No one seems to give a damn that we've injected uranium, salt water, human waste, industrial waste directly into water supplies since the early 20th Century.
Not even mining engineers.
They're angry about natural gas production.

jw


You’re half right. Natural gases are obviously still hydrocarbons and are basically viewed as simply a bandaid solution by many of your more hardcore environmentalists (which they are, although much cleaner and cheaper than anything else we're currently using). But hopefully I have given you a slightly different perspective on fracking and the additional threats it poses not only to our underground water resources but also to the populations which live in the areas where this new type of fracking will take place.

I can see you have a slight disdain for YouTube videos, and I admit the first two I posted were a little sensationalist, but if you have the time you should check out the third one. It is the 2nd part of a speech by Alan Jones, a well respected Australian media commentator who has on the whole been quite critical of the environmental movement in the past. It is the 2nd video in a series of 5 (I think) but I chose it because it’s where he really gets into the guts about the dangers fracking poses in its current form. Obviously to gain a little more perspective you may want to see the first and following videos as well.

(Yes I am Australian so I do admit to not having the best knowledge of the fracking situation in the States, though I can only imagine that as this is where the technology developed it cannot be any better than it is here).

Also as much as I prefer not to use Wikipedia, the hydraulic fracking article is probably the most thorough and impartial that I’ve managed to come across and will give you a good idea of how much fracking has changed in recent years.

en.wikipedia.org...

One last thing to keep in mind is the United States have some of the largest shale gas reserves in the world (covering more than a quarter of the land mass), so it is definitely an issue that all US citizens should demand more information about.




edit on 18/8/2012 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2012 @ 09:41 AM
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Unfortunately this is highly US specific as natural gas in the rest of the world is massively more expensive than it is in the US, and in most places coal is still far cheaper than gas.

Aside: Here in Australia we have the cheapest coal in the world. I cannot decide if expanding coal mining is a good thing for my country or a bad thing. I may also work for a metallurgical coal mining operation soon as an EE.

Anyway, a switch to gas is also a false comfort because natural gas is still completely unacceptable from a climate change perspective. So while it may have done more than Kyoto and what-not, and IS an improvement, more still needs to be done.

Also thank engineers and scientists for fracking.
edit on 18/8/12 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2012 @ 10:04 PM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


Unfortunately this is highly US specific as natural gas in the rest of the world is massively more expensive than it is in the US, and in most places coal is still far cheaper than gas.


Not really. Until only recently, gas was more expensive than goal, and was only used in reserve when maximium productrion was needed at coal-fired plants (the majority in the US). It was the technological innovation of businessmen and entrepreneur operators who improved-on and modified a 50-year old process to make previously unprofitable fields productive.

As for "most places," many chose to blindly accept the environmetalists' gospel ove rthe words of scientists and economists who said that trading schemes and other machinations under the Kyoto Protocol would not work.
Instead of improving productions and industry, the UK chose to focus on trading and sequestration. They have extermely expense utility costs and rising CO2 emissions.
The Eurozone also followed the Protocol dictates and looked to alternative sources as well as trading. Costs rose, production fell, and emissions increased.

The reason gas "costs more" is because of a lack of supply. Increase supply, and costs go down.

jw



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