I’ve been struggling for a long time with the Obama Administration Energy and/or Environmental Policies. I am particularly puzzled by their reluctance to embrace natural gas. Today I think I finally figured out what is going on…and admittedly I’m a slow study….but I think I’ve got it. The bureaucrats that advise the President are environmental dreamers.
Dreamers live in the world they would like to have, the rest of us are stuck in the real world. In the dreamers world…we have lots of renewable energy… and we have a way to store the energy. Storage that is both economical and efficient would be nice. Too bad it doesn’t exist.
When it does exist, all sorts of wonderful things become possible. But until then, there is one truth that cannot be denied, utilities cannot use renewable energy to meet their demand requirements because it is not reliable (except for hydro, which works because it has storage in the form of water behind the dam). The average solar panel works about 5 hours a day, the average windmill 7 or 8. What is a utility to do the rest of the time?
Power utilities must choose between three available choices, coal, natural gas and nuclear. There are no other currently available choices. Of those, one is a clear loser… with current technology…coal. And the Obama administration has figured that out. There are two choices left….and the residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue refuse to make a choice.
I like both choices, but since I live in the real world I know that Nuclear is not a political reality. This leaves natural gas. This is not a difficult choice. Support widespread use of natural gas. Sure it’s a fossil fuel, but it’s the good one. It burns relatively cleanly. Sure natural gas produces some carbon dioxide, but it produces about half as much as oil or coal and is clean burning (no cancer causing air pollutants). And it’s cheap.
Therein lies the problem….a cheap clean burning fuel reduces the need for renewable energy. And according to the dreamers at the White House, that is not a good thing. Renewable energy good…fossil fuels bad….in the fantasy world surrounding the White House. When a cheap battery becomes available, the economics of solar power and wind turbines will dramatically improve…..but while we wait…..let’s produce lots of natural gas.