Monday, June 1, 2015

“Forcing” Investment Away from Fossil Fuels Will Only Cripple Life-Giving Energy Production

After the Hunterdon County Democrat letter Shale gas is a bad idea by Regina Barna, which opposed the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline in New Jersey and which I covered on in my 4/7/15 post, a correspondent exposed the real, ideologically driven nature of the anti-pipeline movement. NJMaMa wrote:

Geothermal, wind, solar all have great potential but are not there yet as far as I'm concerned. There needs to be more monies invested in the advancement of alternatives. That will not happen without the push of the general public. If we fight this pipeline and others the industry will be forced to stop investment on fracking and invest in alternatives.

I left this reply:

“If we fight this pipeline and others the industry will be forced to stop investment on fracking and invest in alternatives.”

Force? Is that your answer? The moral implications of that statement are horrendous. It indicates the thug nature of environmentalist enemies of fossil fuels. How about investing your own money? Or do you consider energy producing companies to be your slaves?

What about the $billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies “invested” in “alternatives” to date? What has it yielded? The aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which led to the shutdown of Japan’s nuclear industry, gives us the answer—virtually nothing of practical substance. Environmentally correct Japan, cite of Kyoto, turned to fossil fuels, not renewables. Before the earthquake, renewables contributed less than 2% of electricity generation in Japan; nuclear 27%; hydro 8%; the rest from fossil fuels. After the earthquake, fossil fuel contribution rose to 90%, renewables rose from 1.6% to 1.7%. This, despite $billions upon $billions of taxpayer subsidies around the world.

The fact is, renewables have never been a source of reliable, affordable, large-scale energy production—and, by their nature, probably won’t ever be, or at least not for the foreseeable future. Fossil fuels provide 87% of the world’s energy. Fossil powers our agriculture, transportation, electricity, water purification and delivery systems, domestic and industrial waste disposal systems, anti-pollution technologies, construction, and heat-cooling systems, etc. Fossil fuels protect us from nature’s wrathful episodes, turning a hostile, dirty natural environment into a cleaner, safer, much more hospitable place for humans to live.

If you get your wish, and new pipelines are stopped, your precious renewables will not pick up the slack. The investments currently going into fossil fuel development and distribution will go elsewhere [other than energy, except for crony “investments” designed to cash in on taxpayer handouts]. You’ll just cruelly deprive millions of people of their life-giving energy, and/or drive up the cost for millions more—and destroy jobs and strangle economic progress. From the perspective of human well-being as the standard, fossil fuels are good for the environment; good for the earth; and good for human life. I have not seen a single rational argument against these pipelines. Build the pipelines.


Actually, my next to last sentence is not accurate. There are valid concerns about safety and the threat of eminent domain in the acquisition of the pipeline right-of-way. But those concerns seem more often than not to take a back seat to environmentalist dogma.

Related Reading:

New Jersey's Pilgrim Pipeline vs. Atlantic City Offshore Wind Farm: It Shouldn’t Be Either/Or

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