Saturday, September 20, 2014

President Obama Has a Huge Gas Problem

A gas flare burns near an abandoned building in July 2013 outside Williston, N.D. (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
[Next week] hundreds of delegates will gather inside the U.N. to talk about climate change.  President Barack Obama plans to attend the climate summit and reportedly wants work on a deal with other world leaders to “name and shame” countries that aren’t actively pursuing serious climate action.

But outside the U.N., thousands of activists will be protesting with one message:  whatever Obama accomplishes at the U.N., it won’t be enough to save his climate legacy.

The Obama administration has been tough on coal, directing the Environmental Protection Agency to severely limit the amount of CO2 that power plants are allowed to emit. But at the same time, the administration has embraced natural gas.  Environmentalists say that embrace has created a chasm between Obama’s rhetoric and his climate-fighting actions.

That’s because a growing body of scientific evidence that shows gas development produces significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide.  

At the People’s Climate March on Sept. 21, activists say they’ll be pressuring the president to address his support of oil and gas.  If he doesn’t, they say, he risks squandering his entire environmental record.

“He’s hoping that by killing coal and replacing it with natural gas, he’s coming out a winner, but the science is increasingly saying that’s not going to be the case,” said Anthony Ingraffea, an engineering professor at Cornell and a prominent hydraulic fracturing critic.  “At best, his strategy means we’ll break even, but over decades.  The Climate March is saying we don’t have decades.”

President Obama Has a Huge Gas Problem

No comments:

Post a Comment