Natural gas: Just another fix for fossil fuel junkies

J.P. Leous

Climate trio Kerry-Graham-Lieberman have recently held a series of meetings with various interest groups — including those representing industry, such as the American Petroleum Institute (API). Several reports about the KGL-API et al meeting initially conveyed that API was conditionally supporting the initial framework presented by the senators, which included a tri-part approach to pricing carbon as well as some ideas for how to invest revenues generated through pollution permits and a carbon fuel fee. Not to be confused for climate champs, API released a statement to clarify their position on the KGL discussions.

One sentence caught my eye as particularly interesting: “A sound climate and energy bill must recognize the importance of domestic oil and natural gas development to the nation’s economy, the central role natural gas can play in reducing emissions…”

Clearly natural gas is being sold as a way for America to kick the coal habit — but it’s far from a real climate and energy solution.

Let’s get this clear: Including natural gas in the climate solution list is akin to racing toward a cliff at 90mph, slowing down to 70 mph and calling the deceleration progress. You may have slowed down, but guess what? You’re still heading over the edge!

The fact is natural gas is a fossil fuel that is only 30 to 50 percent cleaner than coal. The processing, infrastructure, and burning of natural gas releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its heat-trapping ability. Read more here.

Einstein once said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” It appears to apply here quite well.

Simply put, we can’t drill and burn our way out of a climate crisis. “Light” cigarettes have been touted as a tool to help some folks quit smoking — but they are still poison.

Does API represent you and the best interests of your children? Safe to say, nope.

When was the last time you and your friends had a private meeting with three Senators? If it’s been a while, and you don’t trust that the likes of API are carrying water on your behalf, it’s time you pick up the phone and let your Senators know what’s on your mind. Key pieces of a climate and energy bill are being written right now, so it’s critical that you voice your support for a bill that reduces heat-trapping pollution, creates jobs through responsible clean energy development, and invests in helping our families and natural resources adapt to a warming world.

On the Hill, the squeaky wheel gets the grease — so if the American Petroleum Institute is knocking on doors and you aren’t even emailing or calling, guess what’s going to end up in the bill…and in our skies, and then in our lungs.