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Oil and unleaded gas not only enemy of 'green' activists

Oil and unleaded gas not only enemy of 'green' activists


Oil and unleaded gas not only enemy of 'green' activists

The price of gasoline at the pump might be getting lots of attention these days but another energy source, natural gas, is a important topic, too, especially since millions use it to stay warm and millions more to keep the lights on.

"There are many benefits associated with natural gas, both economic and environmental," says David E. Callahan, president of Pittsburgh-based Marcellus Shale Coalition. "Thanks to increased use of natural gas here in Pennsylvania, we've seen emissions from the power-generation sector decline precipitously."

That statement runs counter to those from environmental group Sierra Club, which claims natural gas wreaks environmental devastation. That claim that might surprise much of the public that is otherwise aware environmental groups hate oil and are determined to rid the country of fossil fuels. Yet natural gas is a fossil fuel, too, and thus a target like oil and coal.

Natural gas, which is used to heat many of our homes, also provided approximately 40% of the nation’s electricity last year, easily outpacing coal (19.3%), which is also hated by environmentalists.

In terms of renewable energy, which environmentalists insist is our future whether we want it or not, wind energy generated 8.4% last year and solar power provided 2.3%.

Charlie Burd of Gas & Oil Association of West Virginia says there's nothing to worry about with natural gas production.

"We do it so much cleaner, and so much more efficiently,” he insists, “than other places that do the same thing in other parts of the world who do not have the emissions standards that this country already has in place.”