U.S. can become energy independent if we allow it

Quentin Jauquet /

Published Apr 3, 2013 at 05:00AM

Environmental alarmists have long ago thrown caution to the wind.

With righteous conviction, they advocate that the primary solution to global warming is to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2), and we must eliminate fossil fuels.

A recent “In My View” article by Thiel Larson reflects such thinking. She is suggesting that fracking is leaking methane “at alarming rates” and “carbon emissions from natural gas are still more than enough to push us past dangerous climate tripping points.”

Larson goes on to strongly advocate carbon fees (taxes), which she asserts will make clean energy competitive with fossil fuels by raising their cost.

Environmentalists have been creating negative publicity about fracking. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has concluded that allegations of groundwater contamination in Pennsylvania and Arkansas were false. There has been some “fugitive emissions” of natural gas but they have been minimal. USGS and other scientists (e.g. realclimate.org) have concluded that 90 percent of the “fugitive emissions” are controllable and further research will improve upon that. There are geological natural methane springs that can be harnessed, thereby reducing overall omissions.

In reality, the fracking “fugitive emissions” are trivial as compared to methane generated by domestic animals or released naturally. Larson’s article also states that fracked gas “crowds renewable energy sources like wind and solar out of the market.” This is true, however, it is delusional. To be economically competitive in the world, the U.S. needs affordable energy, and with new shale oil and fracking technologies we can now become energy independent. Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is one necessary step.

Regardless of what you believe about humans causing global warming, greenhouse gases will continue to increase. Fossil fuels usage may be reduced, but not eliminated. Other countries, such as China and India, are releasing much more CO2 than the U.S., and will not take any significant steps to reduce CO2 because it will hurt their economic development.

Even Europe is now importing record amounts of coal from the U.S. to help its economies and CO2 emissions have gone up. In most cases, carbon taxes have been passed on to the consumer. Funds collected often do not go toward environmental activities. President Obama has also indicated that he would take carbon tax revenues and use the funds for various other purposes, such as the Energy Security Trust.

The use of carbon fees/taxes by other countries has been rife with fraud and abuse, giving lawyers many new opportunities. The U.S. cannot effectively administer such a program, nor will such a program be effective globally.

What should we do about climate change? Adapt! First, we need the best weather information possible. This requires a supercomputer dedicated to weather modeling and more (and improved) weather satellites, as we currently cannot cover the whole Earth.

Of utmost importance to humanity is the protection and enhancement of our water supplies, including upgrading of related infrastructure systems, including sewers.

We must also stem the killing of our oceans, the lifeblood of our planet. Our government should ensure that adequate barriers and drainage systems protect coastal areas. At the same time, the government should quit providing low-cost flood insurance for coastal areas which we as taxpayers ultimately pay for.

Our government needs to quit using political reward for alternative technologies that are not ready for development, such as Solyndra or A123 Technologies. Greater emphasis must be placed on energy research and letting the commercial world bring new technologies to the market place.

We also need to improve the energy transmission infrastructure. The mandated use of ethanol must also be eliminated and the commercial world be allowed to determine its viability.

A global initiative to maximize biodiversity (both flora and fauna) must recognize and adapt to anticipated climate changes.

For the U.S., these actions require a robust economy, more jobs and fiscal discipline.

Inexpensive energy is a basic necessity that would be denied by the fanatical environmentalists.

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