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Author Topic: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi  (Read 9235 times)

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AGelbert

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    • Agelbert Truth AND Consequences
Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« Reply #195 on: February 28, 2018, 01:29:03 pm »
 
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Replacing Coal, Renewables Reduced Emissions As Much As Nat Gas

A new study published last week in Energy Policy finds that from 2007 to 2013, CO2 emissions from energy production in the US fell by 10%, thanks in nearly equal measure to renewables and natural gas. As the study authors point out in an EDF blog post, conventional wisdom credits the switch from coal to gas as the primary driver of emissions reductions. But their analysis shows that renewables and energy demand reduction both played just as big a role as natural gas.

Key to this downward trend in production, of course, is the falling price of renewables, which when combined with batteries are increasingly cost-competitive with both coal and natural gas. In fact, when financial firm Lazard released its annual study on the full costs of energy last November, it found that building new renewable capacity is already cheaper than running existing coal and nuclear plants in many places across the country.

Though the Energy Policy study period ends at 2013, according to the latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance Sustainable Energy factbook, 2017 was the first year that renewables actually outshined natural gas in reducing emissions. Clearly this trend doesn’t look like it’s reversing any time soon.

Also not likely to change course any time soon? Fossil fuel fanatic Scott Pruitt . We all know how Pruitt likes to point to these CO2 reductions when asked about his slashing of emission reduction policies. He has a tendency to either vaguely or inaccurately cite innovation and technology in a nod to fracking and natural gas. And of course, Pruitt’s determined advocacy for the natural gas industry has taken him all the way to Morocco and back. Given the disturbingly close relationship Pruitt 🦀 cultivated with natural gas company Devon Energy 🦖 while he was still in Oklahoma, we don’t expect Pruitt to end his love affair with natural gas any time soon.

But as this study shows, gas has provided no greater benefit than renewables. What’s more,  renewable energy doesn’t emit methane, itself a powerful greenhouse gas, and one Pruitt supposedly cares about.

Renewables are still far from deniers’ minds when talking about natural gas--for them, it’s a fight between gas and coal. Last week, Heartland announced that it has started a campaign to defend coal plants in danger. Heartland has its eye on combating the success of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, which has convinced local leaders to take over 250 coal plants offline since 2010.

Yet James Taylor, president of the relatively newly-created energy and environment-focused freemarket group, Spark of Freedom Foundation and long-time Heartland senior fellow, throws coal under the bus in his new report promoting natural gas. Naturally, Taylor’s not concerned about climate. Instead, he makes the case that since natural gas plants are cheaper to build, conservatives should forget about coal.

Now, we’ll just have to wait and see how long it takes for Taylor to catch up to the fact that renewables are increasingly cost-competitive. And once he does, we’re sure he will maintain intellectual integrity and argue that fiscal conservatives should embrace renewables and let both natural gas and coal plants be cast aside by the invisible hand of the free market.

But wait--if Heartland senior fellow James Taylor recognizes that the free market is choosing cheaper gas over coal, then how does free-market think tank Heartland justify its apparent preference for more expensive coal plants?  

Weird. The discrepancy sort of makes it look like Heartland’s whole free-market advocacy thing is just a pretense for advancing industry 🐉🦕 🦖 interests
 
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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