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The Climate Crisis Requires That We Move Away from Gas

Sheryl Carter's picture
Director NRDC

Sheryl Carter plays a key role at NRDC by promoting the development and adoption of energy efficiency and other clean energy strategies to reduce the public health, environmental, and global...

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  • Jul 11, 2019 1:03 pm GMT

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Natural (or “fossil”) gas, so long thought of by many as a bridge fuel to a clean energy future, needs to be replaced as fast as possible with cleaner, no-emissions solutions, given the climate crisis
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Gene Nelson's picture
Gene Nelson on Jul 13, 2019

Sheryl Carter, the Director of NRDC propagates misinformation in her June 26, 2019 post, "The Climate Crisis Requires That We Move Away from Gas" Central to her "solutions" are the use of intermittent solar and intermittent wind generation. As the August 11, 2016 Washington Post article titled, "Turns out wind and solar have a secret friend: Natural Gas"  Official records of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) documented that the capacity factor of the huge amount of solar and wind in California dispatched by CAISO for the half-year ending January 31, 2017 is approximately 20%. That means, natural gas fills in the remaining 80% of the time.

Since the natural gas generators are dispatched intermittentently and inefficiently, natural gas usage increases. The result is any alleged environmental benefit of solar and wind is very questionable. No wonder BP America and Total SA of France are running advertisements touting the complementary nature of natural gas with wind and solar. Independent California nonprofit, Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Inc. (CGNP) has established in their California Public Utilities (CPUC) testimony since 2016 that the most cost-effective and safest means to generate zero-carbon electricity is nuclear power. Eventually, it is likely that NRDC will abandon their doctrinaire oppositon to nuclear power. Recently, the Union of Concerned Scientists endorsed nuclear power after decades of opposing it.  

Gene Nelson's picture
Gene Nelson on Jan 7, 2021

Independent nonprofit Californians for Green Nuclear Power, Inc. (CGNP) has taken its nuclear power advocacy to the national level. CGNP filed a complaint before FERC in late October, 2020, opening docket EL21-13. CGNP noted California-specific threats to the transmission of natural gas to California associated with plate tectonics. 95% of California's natural gas flows into California via an aging and vulnerable network of natural gas pipelines. CGNP shows photographs of an above-ground natural gas transmission pipeline in San Luis Obispo County, California being bent by the huge forces of aseismic creep where the pipeline crosses the San Andreas Fault.  About 60% of California's in-state dispatchable generation is powered by burning natural gas. While NRDC claims to be a nonprofit focused on the environment, it derives income from solar and wind installations - which are very dependent on fossil-fuel combustion for compensating for their substantial intermittencies.  Energy Central readers will likely not be surprised to learn that NRDC filed comments opposing CGNP's Complaint and Amended Complaint as an opposing party.  Such hypocrisy.

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