Letter to editor the Times Tribune- February 2, 2018

Letter to Editor by Brian Oram on Pipelines and Natural Gas –  LINK 

Short Version =Published

“Regarding climate, energy, and the environment, the discussion should not be over fossil fuels or renewables or over electrical lines or gas pipelines, but how best to invest in America and its citizens.  

 

There is a lot of irony when it comes to discussions of fossil fuels, energy, and politics.  On one hand there is a push for diversity in our culture, because it makes us strong, but when it comes to energy it seems to be divided into two small camps.  The solution is not 100% fossil fuels and 100% renewables, the long-term solution lies in a diverse energy package that permits the United States of America and its citizens to flourish

 

We must make our energy decisions based on facts and not fear.  From my perspective, natural gas complements the renewable energy, i.e.,  solar, wind, hydropower, and biofuel capacity for the country and it helps ensure we have a diverse mix of energy resources.

 

Reaching our climate goals is impossible without natural gas because it’s one of the cleanest sources of energy and is responsible for the 90 percent decrease in U.S. emissions since 1990. While U.S. natural gas production is up 50 percent since 2005, total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are down 11 percent.

 

To be honest, I have worked on more renewable energy projects then natural gas projects and I have seen many renewable energy projects get denied because of a not in my backyard (NIMBY) mindset .   

A combination of natural gas and renewable resources is the most realistic option for helping our environment while providing affordable energy to American homes.”

Longer Version (Not published)

“The division over energy, politics, economy, and environmental issues in the United States will not help solve our issues as a country.  It is time that we begin to look and make decisions based on facts, not fear.   Regarding climate, energy, and the environment, the discussion should not be over fossil fuels or renewables or over electrical lines or gas pipelines, but how best to invest in America and its citizens.  The main problems with energy are we waste a lot, we have no real storage solutions that are cost effective, and we have created urban areas that are unsustainable with respect to energy, food, and water.   Therefore our first steps should not be to pick a side of renewables over fossil fuels, but figure out a way to deal with the issues of energy waste, energy demand, energy distribution, and inefficiency.   What we have now is a system where as a country we waste over 50% of the energy we use and as a group we should ALL agree that reducing energy waste should be a Team effort.

If you support the hypothesis of man-induced and controlled climate change, we could do a lot to minimize this impact by decreasing energy waste and increasing efficiency.  If you support, the hypothesis that the sun and earth process dominate Earth’s climate and we are in an inter-glacial, we need to focus on energy efficiency, storage technology, and decrease waste for economic reasons.   Why?  Because the 50% of the energy we waste is 1 year, could have powered the UK for 7 years.   We as a country are fighting the wrong battle.  With this understanding both extremes should be able to agree that energy efficiency, a stable energy grid, and homegrown energy resources help the United States of America move forward.

There is a lot of irony when it comes to discussions of fossil fuels, energy, and politics.  On one hand there is a push for diversity in our culture, because it makes us strong, but when it comes to energy it seems to be divided into two small camps.  The solution is not 100% fossil fuels and 100% renewables, the long-term solution lies in a diverse energy package that permits the United States of America and its citizens to flourish and still do our best to protect this “Big Blue Ball” and when this occurs America has a long-term history of helping the other inhabitants on this planet.

This does not mean we put our heads in the sand and not address issues and concerns, but it also means that fear should not be used to drive a narrative.  We must make our decisions based on facts and not fear.  From my perspective, natural gas complements the renewables, i.e., solar, wind, hydropower, and biofuel capacity for the country and it helps ensure we have a diverse mix of energy resources.  To be honest, I have worked on more renewable energy projects then natural gas projects and I have seen many renewable energy projects get denied because of NIMBY.   Based on the current status of the energy grid, it is not possible for the renewable portfolio to meet the instantaneous energy needs of our Country.   Let’s stop the name calling and work together to come up with short-term and long-term solutions and invest in the research and development to make renewable energy with storage technologies a real long-term solution for the World.    It is time for America to grow-up.

This push and pull between fossil fuels and renewables is often just as polarized as the current political climate, but an irony has played out: the growth in wind and solar is often linked to, not separate from, growth in natural gas.

Natural gas complements renewables like solar and wind and helps ensure we have a diverse mix of energy resources. While, solar and wind can produce varying amounts of energy, natural gas is available on demand, immediately and provides critical support to our renewable resources. Reaching our climate goals is impossible without natural gas because it’s one of the cleanest sources of energy and is responsible for the 90 percent decrease in U.S. emissions since 1990. While U.S. natural gas production is up 50 percent since 2005, total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are down 11 percent.

Natural gas is the most realistic option for helping our environment. This energy source will allow people to keep the lifestyle habits they are inevitably going to use anyway, and they can do so with the environment’s best interest in mind.”

This was a letter to the editor by Mr. Brian Oram – submitted to the Times Tribune.