“But I Thought Natural Gas is Clean?!”

1. Natural gas is neither a short or long-term panacea or safe fuel for us in our neighborhoods or our future because it is still a fossil fuel that warms the earth and emits numerous dangerous by-products that cause cancer.*

2. Natural gas is an overestimated fuel that may only last for 20 years. The planners need to take into consideration that the financing of the power plant is probably not sound and will likely not outlast the plant’s usefulness; that the deconstruction of the plant if approved must include the cost of dismantling and returning to open space so that a few years from now we are not left with a rusting hulk of a plant in a toxic zone resulting from some billionaire’s polluted field of profit dreams.

3. The fracking process of extraction of natural gas from deep within the earth is becoming more and more dangerous because dangerous and cancer-causing and radioactive chemicals are added to the mix or released into the “natural gas” and will be burned in our neighborhood.

4. The continued acceleration of the fracking process will put downward pressure on the price of natural gas, thus lowering the cost to the applicant in the short run while further increasing the likelihood that the plant will be run full time to maximize its profitability.

5. The combination of lower cost of fuel and shortness of availability may insure that the plant will run full time to extract values as soon as possible.**

*For a detailed look at the applicant CoGentrix’ estimates of Quail Brush Generation Project emissions, related air quality standards, and health effects of the pollutants, download these pdfs, save to your desktop, and review:
1) Section 4.7
2) Appendix F

**Information for this post was inspired by Jeff Goodell’s Rolling Stone article “The Big Fracking Bubble”

Author: Jeffrey Kahn

Artist, designer, educator, earthling

5 thoughts on ““But I Thought Natural Gas is Clean?!””

  1. The following link provides another reason to avoid increasing US dependence on natural gas. My current understanding of the source of the natural gas to be burned in the Santee Power Plant is that it will be bought from a site in Mexico. That natural gas is expected to be produced primarily in the Middle East. Not a wise course to follow…

    From the report: “At the end of the day the cost of electricity could easily double on short notice. ”

    Source: http://www.pennenergy.com/index/articles/display/0663918147/articles/pennenergy/microblogs/rafael-sandrea/natural-gas-supply–potential-setbacks.html

    “Production from North America and Western Europe, the two largest consumers, will be dropping off by 2030 and the key to meet a world demand of 425 bcfd lies in the Middle East. They would have to triple their current production capacity. This is a 5-star increase that would come primarily from Qatar and Iran. Eurasia, mainly Russia and Turkmenistan, would have to increase its capacity by 30%. The Middle East and Eurasia would jointly account for half of the world’s gas production by 2030 and would have to provide more than 60% of the expected increase in demand of 141 bcfd. Together they hold responsibility for 50% of the increases required as early as 2015. Contrary to the case of oil wherein reserves are dwindling, all of the above regions have sufficient gas reserves to cope with the future production capacities called for but it would require massive investments for their development. And development depends on the policies of a few volatile countries. The world’s largest gas field – North Field-South Pars, shared by Qatar and Iran – produces less than 10% of its potential of 110 bcfd. Likewise, Turkmenistan’s Iolotan, the second largest gas field in the world with a potential of 30 bcfd, is completely undeveloped. It is almost safe to say that in the not too distant future we can experience supply/demand imbalances with natural gas, and prices will inevitably move towards more symmetry with those of oil thereby taking away the customary price attractiveness of natural gas. At the end of the day the cost of electricity could easily double on short notice. “

  2. This abomination is all about locking us into the futures of Wall St bankers investment into natural gas, Sempra’s $215M investment in the import facility in Mexico and it certainly is not clean. Read the report found on this page it exposes the energy companies’ propaganda. http://pacificenvironment.org/article.php?id=2710 Even if a coal power plant is decomissioned that same coal will be sold overseas to a country with very little environmental protections.

  3. Great Post! But these words do not ring true: “. . .probably not sound. . .”. Consider that should that land be re-zoned to heavy industrial, the once protected open space encroachment has only just begun. Perhaps an NGE power plant at this location is only the seed of intent. “Returning to open space. . .” — that’s a nice thought. Future, expanding encroachment is more realistic.

  4. Thank you for this excellent analysis. Our main concerns are the local impacts but it is good to know the big view. Producers thought natural gas was the panacea to replace coal. Of note is recent evidence that during the process of fracking 4% of natural gas is lost to the atmosphere. Since natural gas is mostly Methane and Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide, a logical conclusion is that “natural gas is a bridge to nowhere” . The total damages in carbon production from natural gas generation exceeds its value added. The International Atomic Enery Agency has made it clear that if we want to avoid global warming, we need to get off of fossil fluel ASAP. ( this information taken from THINKPROGRESS.ORG: Bombshell Study by Joe Romm, 2/8/12). Sadly,Quail Brush, if built, will lock in resources needed to combat global warming. A very BIG mistake. Why do the corporate 1% not invest in life for their/our children and grandchildren but invest only for the moment. MANTRA: Not in our back yard…not in anyone’s back yard!

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