Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy.
Our guest blogger, Robert Bradley, Jr., from the Institute for Energy Research, has a nice piece in Forbes making mincemeat of yet another failed Rolling Stone attempt at independent investigative reporting. The conclusion is a beautiful thing:
Ironically, activists’ obsession with discrediting fracking blinds them to the well-established truth that fracking is an ecological and environmental godsend. Fracking has enabled an unprecedented boom in American natural gas production. Natural gas isn’t just cheaper than coal; it also burns much cleaner.
It’s no wonder that as a power plants have switched from coal to natural gas, air quality has improved. Air pollutants, as well as carbon dioxide emissions, have dropped. And a recent increase in natural gas exports has done wonders for energy market competition.
Activists ought to be celebrating a new era of energy plenty and reliability. Instead, they remain determined to smear fracking with shoddy science. It’s almost as if they have a hidden agenda — one that has nothing to do with what’s good for people and the planet.
Well said, Robert. When will Rolling Stone just go away?
I’ve done some consulting work in the San Joaquin Valley of California and it is agricultural nirvana with almond groves stretching as far as the eye can see, huge olive farms, mega-dairies, citrus operations and vegetable farms all existing side by side between the mountains. Now it has a new hybrid work horse:
Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI) has integrated its EDI PowerDrive 4000 into a Class 4 General Motors Low Cab Forward platform, creating what EDI calls an “industry-first” electrified work truck for agriculture applications.
The vehicle combines the benefits of a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system and plug-in hybrid technology, says EDI.
The truck will be operated in California’s San Joaquin Valley, a 250-mile-long region susceptible to air pollution due to its bordering mountain ranges, says EDI.
While in operation in San Joaquin Valley, the new vehicle will provide 40-plus miles of all-electric, zero-emissions driving, as well as range extension using cleaner-burning CNG – resulting in a significant elimination of particulate matter that its traditional diesel counterparts expel, says EDI.
Nice! And, it will use natural gas twice; once to make the electricity and, second, to extend the range of the vehicle itself. Love it!
The Permian Basin suggests there’s a second shale revolution on the way:
In less than two decades, Permian Basin operators have unleashed a shale revolution that has virtually tripled crude production from the region and upended global energy markets.
Now a second revolution is on the horizon as operators prepare to re-enter those wells that launched the first revolution and implement secondary recovery projects. That can consist of operators reinjecting gas into the reservoir to restore pressure and then producing the additional crude and natural gas.
“It looks like the second shale revolution will be huge,” said Lewis Matthews, data scientist with CrownQuest Operating.
He said the Permian Basin has been producing for close to 100 years and “we’re not even close to getting all the oil.”
CrownQuest alone has 200 years of drilling inventory, said Matthews, who expects companies such as Concho Resources and Pioneer Natural Resources have similar inventories.
This dose of happy news is sure to give many fractivists heartburn, but, then again, they thrive on misery.
Tony the Tiger Ingraffea’s declining influence, following his descent into political advocacy, is obvious from the fact he’s not resorted to whining about the natural gas industry’s success. Here’s what Desmog Blog reports he said at some fractivist mutual whining session where everyone reflected on what might have been:
So what happened?
Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, U.S. natural gas production was flat or falling. If that trend had continued along the same track it was following from 2006-2008, then wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources might have had a chance to displace both natural gas and coal as major energy sources in America, according to Ingraffea.
Instead, the shale gas rush, propelled by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), swept across the U.S., with drillers snapping up land to drill for previously inaccessible fossil fuels locked in geologic formations of shale rock from coast to coast.
If the shale gas rush hadn’t disrupted trends around that time, Ingraffea estimates that the wind energy sector alone could have produced roughly triple the amount of energy expected by the end of this coming decade, a difference of roughly 400 gigawatts.
“We can easily see there is a loss of potential — large amounts of wind energy — because of the injection of shale gas into our energy economy,” Ingraffea explains in the lecture.
It’s all ideology all the time with these folks. Their whining says it all.
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