Natural gas catches coal in electricity generation for the first time

posted at 6:41 pm on January 7, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

President Obama grew increasingly demure about his heartfelt “necessarily skyrocketing” energy-price ambitions as we moved closer and closer to the election last November, but despite his administration’s many attempts at subtlety, they have been waging a steadfast war on coal through regulations and policies that are aimed at eventually forcing coal off of America’s energy map. Environmentalists tend to hate coal on principle as one of the dirtiest possible energy sources, but their only suggestions for economically meaningful replacements for coal, of course, have been renewable energies and biofuels that do not come even close to traditional fuel sources in terms of price efficiency, private-sector productivity, or net job creation, and are still on the receiving end of highly generous taxpayer subsidies of all kinds of forms.

But hey, check this out — yet again, natural gas and the private sector are accomplishing what big-government leftists and bureaucrats could not, and in ways that legitimately grow the economy and create instead of destroy well-paying jobs. Via RealClearEnergy:

According to preliminary figures just released by the Energy Information Administration, natural gas finally caught coal as the primary source of electrical generation for the first time in history last April. Figures are not yet available for the rest of the year. The preliminary figures are not final but generally do not change by more than .1 percent on review.

The graph tracks electrical generation in millions of megawatt-hours since 2007. The blue line at the top represent coal, the brow n represents natural gas, the yellow line is nuclear, the light green line is hydro, the dark green line is renewables other than hydro and the red line at the bottom is “others,” which generally means oil.

I say “yet again,” because our current reduction in our total carbon outputthe greenest of the green goals — is largely due to natural gas, and by extension, the practice of hydraulic fracturing against which the eco-radicals are waging their very own war. Ain’t free enterprise grand?


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