The International Energy Agency (IEA) – not exactly known for being pro oil and gas – issued a stunning report last week. It’s entitled “Golden Rules for the Golden Age of Gas”.
It states what some (like me) have been saying for some time. Natural gas, due to multi-stage fracturing, has begun a new age in energy and a huge improvement in the human condition. It reveals that green house gas emissions are “plummeting” in the United States.
Even better for Quebec are substantial reductions in the air pollution wafting across the US border (50% of air pollution in the St. Lawrence Valley originates in the United States). NOX, SOX, particulates and heavy metals are all down by even greater percentages than greenhouse gases. A real relief to the few thousand who die prematurely each year from smog in Montreal and Quebec.
It was obvious to anyone who thought about it. Any restaurant in Montreal could have told you. Multiple studies confirmed it. The final accounting is now in. CALL THE PAPERS!
Natural gas, from shale or not, is CLEANER than coal on a full-cycle, half-cycle, uni-cycle, bi-cycle, tri-cycle, and any-cycle basis. Professor Robert Howarth should have the decency to eat his well publicized words to the contrary.
Even though the air is now cleaner in Quebec, I don’t advise you hold your breath waiting for Professor Howarth to admit he is wrong. I will possibly shock you by revealing the Professor is well funded and, sit down for this, biased.
My bias in industry is to find a way to make a profit while following all the rules and keeping my stakeholders happy. I am fully transparent about my bias and I admit from time to time environmental groups have been effective in improving industry’s environmental conscience. Some companies more than others to be sure.
Is the bias of environmental groups just as transparent? Though there is more to do, will they celebrate fewer emissions and admit from time to time industry gets it right on the environment? Their biases will be revealed by their reaction to the heretical news of industry being responsible for cleaner air.
I saved a few of their tweets as favourites @mrbinnion if you would like to know the answer. But I bet you can guess.
Postscript: incredibly at the same time industry figured out how to reduce emissions, we created the most new jobs in a weak economy, contributed significantly to Government revenues, and saved everyone money on their energy bills ($250 billion according to this link). You can see why a well regulated free enterprise system is under attack. Who would need protestors if this is allowed to continue?