Posted August 16, 2013
New EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, in remarks this week in Colorado:
“Responsible development of natural gas is an important part of our work to curb climate change and support a robust clean energy market at home.”
New Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, in remarks earlier this month:
“About half of that progress (on emissions) we have made is from the natural-gas boom, in this case the market-driven substitution for coal. … Eventually, if we are going to get down to really low-carbon emissions, natural gas, just like coal, would need to have carbon capture. But that looks to be quite a ways off. In the meantime, gas will actually be part of the solution. ”
Moniz on the safety of hydraulic fracturing:
“To my knowledge, I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater.”
New Interior Secretary Sally Jewell earlier this month during a tour of the Bakken shale play in North Dakota:
“The Bakken boom is a perfect example of how new and improved technology is allowing industry to tap previously inaccessible or unknown energy resources to create jobs, decrease our dependence on foreign oil, and grow our economy. As drilling methods and technologies advance, we have an obligation to ensure that energy production is happening in a safe and responsible way for the environment and for communities. Working hand in hand with industry, we have an opportunity to use innovative technologies to capture natural gas to power more homes with cleaner American-made energy, while reducing methane emissions and cutting carbon pollution."
Let’s distill out the key points from these senior federal officials:
Safe and responsible natural gas development is a key factor in reduced U.S. energy-use carbon emissions, which in 2012 were at their lowest point since 1994, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:
Natural gas, largely produced from shale via hydraulic fracturing, is part of the emissions solution, not the problem.
Hydraulic fracturing is safe, and the natural gas (and oil) produced using it is helping grow our economy.
Consider these points the next time activists, advocates, actors, movie makers and other opponents of natural gas – often people who’re against any energy source that’s capable of running our economy and sustaining our modern lifestyles – try to scare Americans away from using our vast natural gas and oil wealth.
As Secretary Jewell said, industry has the technology and the operating standards to produce American natural gas and oil in a way that keeps workers safe and protects local communities and the environment. With greater access to resources industry can develop more of the domestic energy we need, create jobs and strengthen our country’s energy security.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.