Energy Industry Sways Congress With Misleading Data

August 5, 2010

The two key arguments that the oil and gas industry is using to fight federal regulation of the natural gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing — that the costs would cripple their business and that state regulations are already strong — are challenged by the same data and reports the industry is using to bolster its position.

. . . . But the [industry] report reveals that only four states require regulatory approval before hydraulic fracturing begins. It also outlines how requirements for encasing wells in cement — a practice the author has said is critical to containing hydraulic fracturing fluids and protecting water — varies from state to state. More here.

A better way to power our future would be to give up the quest for and use of fossil fuels all together. The good news is that we no longer need to use fossil fuels for our energy and we already know that. The bad news is that there is a lot of money and power involved in the fossil fuels industries and the people involved won’t go down without a fight. Meanwhile, drilling for natural gas continues to cause problems and contamination where it occurs.

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that many people think can and should replace coal as a “bridge,” but once the infrastructure for that “bridge” is in place it won’t be going away any time soon. If natural gas is used in cars, for example, the auto makers that make those cars aren’t going to design and make natural gas cars for a year or two. It takes years to design cars that run on anything other than gasoline, so natural gas cars would be with us for decades, while most people will be transitioning to battery, hydrogen, or electric cars. Why would anyone want to be stuck with a natural gas-running clunker of a car?

We need to transition away from all fossil fuels — including natural gas. It’s not the fuel of the future, it’s the fuel for those who want to squeeze the last remaining billions of $$ to be made in the dirty fossil fuel industry.