Bad news from the Sierra Club: Natural gas, fracking actually aren't the way of the future

You might think that, given that natural gas has effortlessly accomplished exactly what the eco-extremists have been insisting we need to immediately and forcibly engineer — i.e., measurably reduce our carbon emissions — the greenies would be all over it. But when it comes to their crusade for carbon-reduction, just like President Obama’s recent handling of the fiscal cliff ‘negotiations,’ they just can’t seem to take yes for an answer: It’s going to have to be the types of technologies they’ve deemed appropriate (regardless of their efficiency or fiscal sustainability), or nothing at all. It would appear that they’re unconditionally determined to loathe any type of drilling, and hydraulic fracturing specifically, nevermind that the wildly exaggerated environmental threats are more than manageable.

One of the latest items in their constant campaign against all things hydrocarbon is lobbying against the export of natural gas, a hot topic in Congress right now and one on which we’re still waiting to hear more about what the Obama administration will decide in their second term. I’m sure you can guess which way the Sierra Club swings:

Exporting natural gas would increase fracking and carbon emissions, put sensitive ecological areas at risk, and do nothing to address our country’s energy problems. Natural gas companies envision a network of winding pipelines that connect the drills to the docks, slicing through wildlands, rivers, and backyards. Pipes will inevitably leak and rupture, fouling the environment where people live with methane – further polluting the air we breathe, the water we drink. …

And what will this do to solve America’s energy problems? Nothing.

The industry claims natural gas is the answer to energy independence, but shipping LNG overseas will only raise domestic prices and force us to rely on other dirty fossil fuels like coal. We need to move beyond all fossil fuels by 2050, because a clean-energy economy based on energy efficiency and renewable sources of power like wind and solar remains the only safe and responsible way to achieve energy independence while putting Americans to work.

Nothing? Nothing, as in, spur economic growth, which in turn spurs technological innovation and increased efficiency, which are the very things we need to bring about the cleaner energies for which the greenies are longing?  Wind energy hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell if we’ve got a broken economy and a bankrupt government, and it’s no coincidence that the world’s wealthiest, freest countries are the ones that even concern themselves with environmental quality.

Here’s the other side of the story:

As Steven Chu, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, said earlier this year, “exporting natural gas means wealth comes into the United States.” …

Last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted that the increased production of oil and natural gas in the United States will help reduce our national trade deficit and place us on the road to energy self-sufficiency. However, ensuring the continued demand for our natural gas resources is a critical component. By allowing natural gas exports, the United States can ensure the continued production of this clean-burning energy source, as well as help reduce our ever increasing trade deficit.

Exporting some of our immense natural gas reserves abroad will augment our already booming natural gas industry – not hinder it. Moving forward with this opportunity is one critical way the United States can assure the continued safe and responsible development of this clean burning energy and the many benefits it provides – energy security, clean power, economic growth, a manufacturing renaissance and more American jobs.