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Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 21 Oct 2021, 11:18:15

Pops wrote:
yellowcanoe wrote:We don't know yet know how high natural gas prices will go but rest assured that if people find they are paying considerably more for home heating and electricity they will take out their anger on the Biden administration.

Which is why you have Biden begging OPEC for its nonexistent spare capacity at the same time he's begging Mansion to please subsidize offshore wind.

It should be starting to dawn on people that Murphy's Law, i.e.The Energy Trap is a real thing. This has been my biggest worry all along, will we have enough time and money to transition before we run out our string? We need to invest large amounts of fossil energy into deploying renewables, which of course will make fossils more expensive—even before fossils begin their decline. But here at peak oil .com we are worried about the cost of our airline ticket and getting in a hit on the libtards.

Pointless trolling aside, or maybe to the point, humans have a short horizon. Doesn't matter that we're condemning our kids and grandkids to GW & PO without coming together, out past a generation—25 years or so— we just don't care. Kind of why the threads here nowadays are carping about Democrats, investing, stock markets, etc; for the old men here that is all that matters. After all, fracking made us Saudi America, right?

Fossil companies own enough of congress to impede progress on their own. They've been fighting global warming science for decades already, they have been fighting any talk of limits even longer. It is tobacco all over again except now it isn't just smokers and nearby breathers who will die.

What is worse, I'm going to say existentially worse, is the political reality of "stacking"— in which people increasingly accept party orthodoxy whole cloth, lest they be thought of as RINOs. And, since there have to be sides, the right is on the side of fossils. Of course whatever the right is for the left is against, so they undermine fossils at every juncture even though a renewables build out depends on fossil energy.

I've always been kind of an optimist, I figured we'd figure out a way to get by, some of us anyway. I'm not so sure anymore.


The energy trap has also been my greatest concern with the whole PO process from start to finish but I expect things to go a bit differently than the cited article does. For one thing it is not mandatory that all replacement energy must come from a specified source. IMO what is most likely to happen is first the freak out as the USA Petroleum and Natural Gas reaches world parity. We are seeing some of that right now as USA prices are rapidly rising to meet world prices. Heck in all honesty if I could get twice as much selling my X to Europe and Asia as I could get selling it to my fellow countrypersons I would be sorely tempted to do so. In the days before the Oligarchy was running things the feds used to pass laws limiting exports to influence the prices here in the USA. Today congress critters are all "globalists" and F-U to your fellow citizens of your nation state when there is money to be made.

The thing boils down to will Joe6P accept the new situation or will there be enough frothing at the mouth for Congress to require Natural Gas exports can only be done when certain price conditions for USA population are met? After all as recently as 1981 Natural Gas prices were regulated by federal wage and price controls. There is no reason the feds couldn't reestablish those same standards of control today. As a culture we seem to go through a cycle of more and less federal regulation since the 1860's swinging from extreme tight regulation on one end to loosey goosey lack of regulation on the other end. That was how we got the Roaring 1920's and the boisterous 1990's when the attitude was "we won the war now we party all the time". The regulatory structure put in place in the 1930's never really went away, it just got set aside so well connected persons could get uber wealthy. Some regulation came back with the 2008 crash but not nearly as much of it as could have.

Without that level of regulation the next logical thing is for Coal to come roaring back into use in power production. In 2010 coal power plants were running at a 70% capacity factor because they were still the cheapest fuel source for the utility companies to use. In 2020 with the shut down that fell to an all time low of 40% because when demand goes down you cut the most expensive bits off first just like an airline in a slow down parks its least fuel efficient airplanes first. In 2021 however the price of Natural Gas has rapidly climbed and as a result Coal capacity factor is back over 50%. Put that in relative percentage terms and Coal use has increased 25% over the low point from 2020 and is now back over the levels we had in 2018 earlier in the decline when Natural Gas was still freaking cheap to burn.

Environmentally minded folks can start screaming and gnashing teeth but the real reason coal declines so much from 2010-2020 was purely economics. Once fracking for Natural Gas kicked into high gear in 2005 when prices made it worth the effort and the government was all in favor of it the price crash was truly epic. In 2004 my Natural Gas price went up over 11, by 2006 it had fallen to 2.50 and all the money I spent in a new HVAC system in summer 2004 went from a 3 year pay back to an 11 year pay back on my investment.

Now prices are headed sky high again but this time it is to match world prices. Why should Columbia Gas or Consumers Power sell Joe6P Natural Gas for X when he can get 2X for selling it in Europe and 2.5X for selling it in Asia? Which market they sell into is based on transportation costs, not patriotic fervor.

The sick fact is while the EU faux-greens crow about their use of renewable energy what this means is in addition to planting solar panels and windmills everywhere they have decreased coal consumption by replacing the coal burning in some cases with wood pellets imported from Canada at huge expense. It is one thing to pelletize wood scraps and sawdust left over from making lumber but it is quite a different thing to harvest virgin forest for the purpose of turning every bit of woody material into manufactured pellets that are easy to ship and burn in power stations originally designed to burn coal.

The USA has not sunk to that level of insanity quite yet and the rebound in coal burning is substantial evidence of that reality.
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Re: Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 22 Oct 2021, 09:51:13

The USA alone is by far the largest consumer of Natural Gas, a testament to its low cost in the last decade and generally low in the decades before. See this table of stats;
https://www.worldometers.info/gas/gas-c ... y-country/

In comparison the USA is currently a distant third in coal consumption. The top two consumers, China and India continue to grow in their consumption and other than Europe a great many of the nations further down the list like Indonesia and Turkey currently at 11 and 12 are also steadily growing in their consumption. Right now China is partnering with a dozen or so nations in Africa to increase their national consumption by constructing new modern coal fired power stations in their high population areas to provide electricity to replace old or insufficient systems. For example next year two brand new plants are opening in Zimbabwe, built by China.
https://www.worldometers.info/coal/coal ... y-country/
Zimbabwe’s Power Utility to Finish New Coal-Fired Units in 2022

Hwange 7 and 8 Power Station Expansion Project, which is expected to add 600MW to the national grid registered progress of 58,29 percent at the beginning of the quarter and closed at 62,54 percent against a planned progress of 85,9 percent.

HARARE (Bloomberg) –Zimbabwe’s state-owned power utility expects to complete the addition of coal-fired units next year, bucking a global trend to reduce reliance on the fossil fuel.

The $1.5 billion expansion by Zimbabwe Power Company and China’s Sinohydro will finish one unit next year in September and another in December, adding 600 megawatts. That’s intended to replace 920 megawatts of existing capacity prone to breakdowns, according to Forbes Chanakira, site manager for the Hwange Power Expansion project.

The government’s strategy “is to ensure we improve the reliability of the existing coal plant while at the same time embracing renewable technology,” Chankira told Bloomberg in an interview at the plant.

The project, which has been in the works for years, demonstrates how some developing nations will continue burning coal until funding is made available by richer countries to switch to cleaner energy. Neighboring South Africa is also completing some of the world’s biggest stations that run on the fuel and would need $20 billion to retrofit its fleet to cut pollution.

The Hwange plant in Western Zimbabwe has been flagged for emitting excessive pollutants and a flue gas desulfurization unit will be installed, which will meet World Bank standards, according to Lucia Chibanda, an engineer with ZPC.

China Eximbank will provide a 20-year loan of almost $1 billion at a 2% annual interest rate, Chanakira said. ZPC has to raise $315 million for project development costs from its own resources and loans from African Export-Import Bank and Standard Bank Group Ltd., he said.

The project is currently 72% complete after work slowed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe
In another report South Africa is tired of being pressured to adopt expensive imported renewable technology that would make them again dependent on foreign imports. Basically the countries that want to sell them imported capacity are the only ones who would benefit from the switch over and they somehow find that switch away from domestic coal less than a brilliant idea. From Bloomberg,
South African Energy Minister Opposes Coal Ban for Climate Aid

Antony Sguazzin and Paul Burkhardt
14 October 2021·3-min read
In this article:

(Bloomberg) -- Rich nations shouldn’t force South Africa to ban new coal-power projects and impose other conditions as a requirement for funding to help reduce its environmental footprint, the country’s energy minister said.

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Gwede Mantashe last month skipped a meeting with climate envoys from the U.K., U.S., Germany, France and the European Union, where an initial amount of almost $5 billion in concessional loans and grants was discussed. South Africa’s environment and public enterprises ministers attended the talks, as did the deputy finance minister.

The envoys aim to reach an emissions-reduction deal with South Africa that could be announced at the COP26 climate talks that begin in Glasgow later this month and serve as a model for other countries seeking to transition to green energy.

“They must not give us conditions, they are developed countries,” Mantashe said in an interview on Tuesday. “We are a developing economy, they must talk to our program.”

Mantashe has repeatedly stressed security of power supply as his priority, promoting coal, nuclear and gas as sources of generation to replace old coal-fired plants. South Africa is being subjected to a record year of blackouts, which are implemented to prevent a total collapse of the grid when the state power utility can’t meet demand.

The country is the world’s 12th-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, with wind and solar energy currently accounting for only about 6% of supply and coal more than 80%.

Mantashe’s attitude is seen as putting him at odds with President Cyril Ramaphosa, who in a letter to the nation this week spoke of the need to cut emissions and win climate aid. The consequences of not doing so will ultimately harm South Africa’s ability to trade, as tariffs could be imposed on carbon-heavy goods, the president said.

Rushing into renewables at the expense of coal can have adverse consequences, such as the power outages currently being seen in China, India and the U.K., Mantashe said.

Careful Transition

“If we move like pendulum from one extreme to another we are going to be in the same situation ourselves,” he said. “We must have a clear program. We must navigate the transition carefully, in an organized way.”

Mantashe defended the country’s 2019 energy blueprint, which allows for the development of 1,500 megawatts of new coal capacity. This, he said, will allow South Africa to experiment with new technologies that may cut emissions when the fuel is burnt.

“If we discover that they are useful then we can increase it,” he said. “We are not saying use the current technology.”

That blueprint also envisions the development of 3,000 megawatts of gas-fired generation. That ambition was given impetus by TotalEnergies SE’s 2019 announcement of a discovery of about 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent at its Brulpadda field off the country’s south coast.

“It’s a game-changer,” Mantashe said. “We are making sizable discoveries of gas. We must use them.”

Environment Minister Barbara Creecy and the country’s two biggest coal users, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and Sasol Ltd., have said gas will be needed as a transition fuel while renewable energy is ramped up. The government recently increased its stake in a pipeline that brings the fuel in from Mozambique, and Mantashe has called for quicker steps to allow the importation of liquefied natural gas.


Anyone who looks at the issues with open minded eyes can see why a nation with coal resources but not a lot of advanced technological building and maintenance capacity would be more interested in building coal fired power rather than importing foreign built and foreign replaced equipment in perpetuity.

Back on the topic of Natural Gas certain other forces who are completely sold on the "Solartopia" concept are angry at India for expanding both its Coal and Natural Gas burning electrical capacity. This is a much longer article so I am only quoting bits of it, follow the link to read it all.

How natural gas could thwart or support India's renewables progress

As India builds more gas-fired power plants and infrastructure to supply natural gas, this investment must not be allowed to crowd out investment in greener technologies such as renewables, green hydrogen and storage capacity, experts tell IndiaSpend.


Natural gas, though less polluting than coal, is not as clean as renewables. Experts say over-capacity in the natural gas sector could lead to assets being stranded, but a solution lies in planning in such a way that gas infrastructure can be repurposed for renewables such as green hydrogen -- which will make India's energy systems truly emissions free in the longer term.

In the immediate future, the use of natural gas in industries, transport and in homes will enable the move away from highly polluting coal, but it must only be used as a 'transition fuel'.

"India should plan specific policies on natural gas that will make it a bridge leading to a renewables-based economy. Otherwise we are stuck with one more fossil fuel which we will have to battle 10-15 years down the line," Hemant Mallya, senior programme lead at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), a New Delhi-based think-tank, told IndiaSpend.

Natural gas as a 'transition' fuel

Under the 2015 Paris agreement, India has committed to reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 33%-35% by 2030 relative to 2005, for which it must quit burning coal that causes global heating. Using natural gas reduces GHG emissions as the combustion of natural gas emits about half as much carbon as coal.

In addition, India has also said it will install 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2030, of which 100 GW had been installed as of August 2021. Eventually, India plans to use renewable energy as the predominant fuel source.

In 2017, the Indian government announced that it would increase the share of natural gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030. As of September 2021, natural gas made up 6.5% of India's energy mix.

India is promoting natural gas as a 'transition fuel' as it moves towards using renewable energy as the main power source, as other countries in Southeast Asia and Africa are doing.


This is because renewable energy production, such as that from wind and solar, is intermittent and dependent on weather conditions. For a completely renewable-energy based economy, India would need capacity to store power but battery storage is currently expensive, said Mallya of CEEW.

The demand for natural gas globally is projected to increase by 3.6% by 2021 and by 7% in 2024 compared to pre-Covid19 levels in 2019, according to a July 2021 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), an intergovernmental organisation working to shape energy policies. The growth in demand is largely because gas can replace other more polluting fuels such as coal and oil in sectors such as electricity generation, industry and transport, the report noted.

"Almost half of the increase in global gas demand by 2024 is expected to come from the Asia Pacific region, driven by China and India as well as by emerging markets in South and Southeast Asia," the IEA report said.

LINK

Here we see both an outright lie, that burning more Natural Gas is a good thing if you are worried about Global Warming, and the silly claim that building Natural Gas is the cure for the intermittency problem of Wind and Solar technologies.

If you care about global warming then you should understand that building Natural Gas capacity is equivalent to eating food contaminated with E. Coli bacteria instead of food laced with Arsenic. Sure the bacterial contamination will take longer to kill you, but you will still be D-E-A-D in the end.

Second the idea that you can afford to build endless intermittent capacity that all has to be backed up with fossil fuel capacity at 100% grid power and that doing so is a cost effective solution is outright fabrication. Basically you have to build duplicate power capacity in both fossil and intermittent generation, maintain both systems at a very high level of reliability such as it is and then hope that you can find the money for what is now in essence two complete power supplies in the face of what was a single power supply before. Sooner or later people will have to understand that intermittent systems with full fossil back up systems in place are horrendously expensive compared to any single system. This is basic engineering economics, something any 5th grade school student is able to understand if the issue is explained in reasonable terms instead of being obscured by flights of fancy and propaganda.

Right now Africa has almost 600 million citizens without access to electricity. They lack access mostly because their prior governments were corrupt and spent funds that could have completed their grid systems on pet projects or Swiss bank accounts for their cronies. South Africa whatever its past sins and they were many were built out its grid in a competent manner with local skills and resources in mind. Now they are being severely pressured to give up that local secure capacity in favor of a lie that is so transparent as to be blatant.
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Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
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Re: Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

Unread postby Pops » Fri 22 Oct 2021, 11:18:34

Tanada wrote:The thing boils down to will Joe6P accept the new situation or will there be enough frothing at the mouth for Congress to require Natural Gas exports can only be done when certain price conditions for USA population are met?

The situation in the US regarding exports is just like every other question today, depends on your party. Aside from Mansion who has an obvious conflict, the left wants to shut down fossils right now today and the right wants rigs on every block. There is no acknowledgment on the left that fossils are required to transition and little recognition on the right that transition is required—most tacitly accept GW, they just don't do it very loudly and disparage the greens at every opportunity. As such, we will continue lurching from one extreme to the other, the owners against the consumers via their bought representatives.

I've said for years that capitalism is the most efficient system to extract every last drop (of whatever) but probably not the best once we've done it. I've probably also opined that Marx thought capitalism is about exploiting workers—or at least buying their labor at a discount to be resold as part of a product— but I think it has been mostly about buying energy at a discount, energy too cheap to meter, that has enabled capitalism to make a profit these last couple of hundred years.

Once we get past the point of underpriced fossil energy, whether RE becomes viable or not, capitalism will once again resort to exploiting humans. Or, more likely, the lack of adequate energy to enable profit as we have become accustomed will force a redefinition beyond recognition.
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Re: Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 22 Oct 2021, 12:01:34

Pops wrote:the left wants to shut down fossils right now today.....


Really?

As always, you have to pay attention to reality and not just blindly accept whatever a politican says.

Politicians are liars. And thats especially true for corrupt politicians like Joe Biden.

I repeat-----always question authority and always be skeptical of what politicians say. Always look at what really happens, not just what was promised.

And right now the left is in complete control of the US government and US policies, and the result is US Coal production is going UP dramatically on Joe Biden's watch.

US coal production is on track to go up 20% this year.

This means that the actual result of having Biden and the Ds in charge is an INCREASE in US fossil fuel use and an INCREASE in CO2 emissions.

AND this means the Ds have not only been lying about cutting coal use....the Ds have also been lying about climate change.

The fact that US coal production and use are going up dramatically under Biden completely undermines all the D talk about being against climate change.

The reality is that under the Ds coal production is going up dramatically and this means US CO2 emissions are also going to go up dramatically.

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Re: Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 22 Oct 2021, 14:10:11

Saying a politician lies is like saying you need to breathe oxygen. Both facts are true but repeating them doesn't change anyone's understanding of reality a single iota.

Both of you have some logic, there really are oddballs on both extremes who want their version of utopia and to heck with reality if it gets in the way. President Obama got lots of credit for cutting CO2 emissions but a great deal of that cutting IMO had to do with encouraging utilities to switch over to burning cheap natural gas and away from burning coal. However the industry was already moving in that direction for purely economic reasons so by getting out in front of the parade President Obama proved his political skills. In a way it was a lot like what Reagan did back in 1982, he waited until it was clear most Americans wanted more security in the military sense and he rode that wave of feeling into big military spending that made defense contractors giddy with joy, and made a whole lot of people who thought the USA having nuclear weapons was a scourge upon the world very nervous.

I do know and have since I learned about the effects of greenhouse gasses in 1988 some years ago believe in human encouraged global warming. I reluctantly came to believe in 2011 after the Fukushima freak out that short sighted policies were making it impossible to switch off the fossil fuels and replace them with fission power. I like renewable energy just fine where it works, but I also know enough about costs benefit analysis to realize the big push behind "green energy" is coming from the Natural Gas industry which has managed to convince the majority of Joe6P and the political leadership that their type of fossil fuel is clean and low carbon. Well excuse the heck out of me but if CO2 emissions are the problem then saying you will cut them by 50% for a while is not the solution. It isn't even a good first step because once all that very expensive plant and equipment is built you get a lot of political clout by having everyone dependent on your capacity to supply jobs and tax revenues to the government no matter which country you are located within.
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Re: Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 22 Oct 2021, 16:49:51

Tanada wrote:Saying a politician lies is like saying you need to breathe oxygen. Both facts are true but repeating them doesn't change anyone's understanding of reality a single iota..


Nonetheless some people mindlessly repeat the promises of polticians as though they are the reality.

Tanada wrote:President Obama got lots of credit for cutting CO2 emissions but a great deal of that cutting IMO had to do with encouraging utilities to switch over to burning cheap natural gas and away from burning coal.


Exactly right. And the same trend of decreasing CO2 emissions and decreasing US coal consumption continued under Trump for the exact same reason. We had 12 straight years of decreasing CO2 emissions and decreasing coal consumption in the USA from 2008 to 2020.

Tanada wrote:I do know and have since I learned about the effects of greenhouse gasses in 1988 some years ago believe in human encouraged global warming. I reluctantly came to believe in 2011 after the Fukushima freak out that short sighted policies were making it impossible to switch off the fossil fuels and replace them with fission power. I like renewable energy just fine where it works, but I also know enough about costs benefit analysis to realize the big push behind "green energy" is coming from the Natural Gas industry which has managed to convince the majority of Joe6P and the political leadership that their type of fossil fuel is clean and low carbon. Well excuse the heck out of me but if CO2 emissions are the problem then saying you will cut them by 50% for a while is not the solution. It isn't even a good first step because once all that very expensive plant and equipment is built you get a lot of political clout by having everyone dependent on your capacity to supply jobs and tax revenues to the government no matter which country you are located within.


Yup. Thats exactly right.

You have to look at a what a politicians does and what his policies produce instead of just repeating their various promises. You have to look at the numbers and the actual data to see what effect changes in US energy policies have in the real world.

And, in the case of Joe Biden, in less than a year in office his policies have ended a twelve year long period where US coal production and consumption dropped each year. In 2021 we are seeing a dramatic INCREASE in coal consumption in the US under Joe Biden.

No one would have expected that based on Joe Biden's rhetoric, but the data shows clearly what is actually happening on Joe Biden's watch doesn't match what he has promised.

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Re: Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

Unread postby Pops » Fri 22 Oct 2021, 17:01:22

Tanada wrote:Saying a politician lies is like saying you need to breathe oxygen.


I'm tired of the whole politics bit, I've finally seen the true colors of our fine country and have given up on this brand of "democracy".

FWIW, methane does produce less CO2: 117# vs 200# for coal — perMMBTU.
I don't know all the tradeoffs, methane leaks vs fly ash or whatever.

But whatever is going on right now re: nat gas and energy overall, is temporary, just like the supply problems, it is a result of the pandemic head fake that caused biz to pull in their horns just as every consumer was changing websites from Carnival Cruises to Amazon and Wayfair. If it isn't we are well and truly screwed.

The point is what comes next and getting started. Nukes? I wouldn't care if they can be built reasonably, and waste disposed of. Huge offshore wind? OK. Huge SW solar farms and big transmission? OK. Massive deployment of rooftop solar and storage? Do it. Incorporating EV battery storage? awesome.

But we aren't gonna do it, because politics.
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Re: Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 22 Oct 2021, 21:18:52

Pops wrote:FWIW, methane does produce less CO2: 117# vs 200# for coal — perMMBTU.
I don't know all the tradeoffs, methane leaks vs fly ash or whatever.


Methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas then CO2....CH4 is perhaps 70x more powerful and effective at causing Greenhouse warming.

However, once methane is in the atmosphere various chemical reactions convert it to CO2. The estimated life of CH4 in the atmosphere is only about 11 years.

Nonetheless, CH4 concentrations in the atmosphere have been steadily rising, indicating various human-caused sources are putting more and more CH4 into the atmosphere. One of the biggest flaws in the phony Paris climate accords was that it didn't even mention methane. The new UN COP meeting in Scotland has methane on the agenda, at least, but most likely no mandatory CH4 reductions will be mandated, just as the Paris Accords failed to mandate reductions in CO2 emissions.

One reason methane emissions have been rising is the big switch from coal-fired to natural gas fired electrical generators in the US and elsewhere. While CH4 is fully combusted in generating electricity, there are lots of leaks of this very powerful greenhouse gas from production and during transport and during storage. This is one of the main reasons we should move to phase out natural gas and switch to non-fossil fuel electrical generation like nuclear.

Image
Huge methane leak from a natural gas well/storage facility at the Porter Ranch, California.

Pops wrote:The point is what comes next and getting started. Nukes? I wouldn't care if they can be built reasonably, and waste disposed of. Huge offshore wind? OK. Huge SW solar farms and big transmission? OK. Massive deployment of rooftop solar and storage? Do it. Incorporating EV battery storage? awesome.

But we aren't gonna do it, because politics.

bins
I couldn't agree more strongly with you on this point.

The Ds are phony hypocrites who talk about climate change but don't do enough, or even make things worse as Obama did by pushing through a climate Accord in Paris that calls for INCREASING CO2 EMISSION, or has Biden has done here in his first year by allowing US coal consumption to start rising on his watch. And the Rs....well Trump was a catastrophe and rest of the Rs are also mostly just hopeless on this issue. Neither party has the right policy on this one.

Cheers!
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Re: Uses and Costs of Substituting Natural Gas

Unread postby mathygreen » Thu 28 Oct 2021, 12:21:36

Sure, shale gas is a good option when we can be fairly responsible about its extraction.

Obviously, I do have some concerns about the watershed that we're trying to extract it from.

More importantly, though, we still have to find a way off of oil.

And this is the perfect opportunity to get electric cars like the Volt working- and have them running on electricity from gas-fired turbines and hopefully also nuclear reactors, wind, and one day space-based solar or fusion.

Shale gas in some ways gave us a second-chance. Let's not blow it this time- we need an energy policy that encourages plug-in cars so we can more gracefully transition to another energy technology- so we at least have more options when the Texas shale gas starts to run out and we have to consider whether or not we want to tap the Marcellus and risk polluting even more important watersheds for agriculture and consumption.
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