We now report that politics have yet again become a road block on the path to a forward-thinking energy policy. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced last week — with John Kerry by his side — that the Senate will officially be shelving the hopeful Climate and Energy Bill in favor of an all-but-unrecognizable version that the Democrats believe they can get past the Republican opposition. The new version — which has put aside most of the important issues — hasn’t been completely outlined yet but we can assure you that the “climate” part of the bill has been slashed by a red pen and that the only energy source left intact makes us cringe — natural gas, a green energy source? We hope you’re as flabbergasted as we are – read on for an in-depth report.
Senator Reid is expected to release a new version of the bill this week that includes measures that ensure BP pays for the oil spill in the gulf, increase energy efficiency standards, and bring incentives to individuals and the market for the mass proliferation of natural gas-powered vehicles. We’re all for making BP pay, and we love energy efficiency standards, but the natural gas part of this measure has us inflamed. Though natural gas may be the cleanest of all fossil fuels, that does not a clean energy source make.
Putting aside the fact that the combustion of natural gas still emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the environmental consequences of obtaining the gas from the earth are dire — as has been pointed out in the poignent documentary Gasland by Josh Fox. The process of fracking pollutes the environment with thousands of toxic chemicals and has the potential to completely ruin many of our clean watersheds. Officials repeatedly try to focus on keeping emissions cleaner without factoring in the huge environmental cost of obtaining these “natural” energy resources.