Devastating Alternatives To Coal Fired Power Plants: Natural Gas

Given what we know about methane leakage, it makes absolutely no sense to convert vehicle fleets to natural gas” -Bill McKibben, Winner of the “Right Livelihood Award” *

People often take the attitude of “If you can’t beat them…”, but if you’re truly concerned about what the world takes this is certainly not the position that a person should take. Though natural gas has been lauded as the solution to the coal fired power plant industry, extensive study shows that natural gas is no safer than coal-fueled energy, due to high levels of methane gas that are generated in the natural gas energy cycle. “Over 100 years, methane traps 34 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide”, says Phil McKenna, a journalist and editor for “Nova Next”.** In coal fired power plant energy production CO2 is released into the atmosphere, trapping heat. In natural gas production, methane (CH4) leaks into the atmosphere and traps heat even more effectively than CO2, which results in a more devastating effect on our environment than coal. Equally remarkable, a biogeochemist named Bob Howarth says that natural gas is “inherently slippery stuff” and that it is “impossible to suppress all the leaks” in gas compression.* If natural gas is more dangerous than coal and also less controllable, it can’t be a solution to the problems in our current coal fired power plant energy environment.

To dismiss coal-fueled energy production altogether, which the natural gas industry is recommending in lieu of natural gas power production is unwise, uneconomical, and hazardous. To do so is unwise because it is premature- we are now beginning to understand more clearly why and how the atmosphere becomes polluted by coal production and other means of making energy, and so it is imperative that investigation into these delicate issues should be more thorough. It is uneconomical because it would eliminate thousands of jobs in just a few years, creating a more devastated national economy than can be seen already. It is hazardous because even with the little that we know about the great dangers of mass energy production, it is very clear that natural gas is no more safe or efficient than coal.

In the struggle to find a balanced solution to the potentially polluting effects of making energy and creating a flourishing and technologically advanced nation that relies heavily on the use of energy, we must revolutionize our methods and press ourselves to innovate. The most evident solution is to make coal fired power production more efficient, more economical and more environmentally safe. Researchers and developers are already finding new ways to do just that. Around the world, the race to revolutionize coal fired power production is already underway, while here at home we are sadly still behind in the race. These international real world results are eye opening, and can be found at The process involves a spray-on coal catalyst that works with the natural ionization of the coal, making it much more efficient and resulting in a cleaner burning fuel with up to 27% less CO2 production quelling the fears of global warming enthusiasts and cutting coal consumption for the local coal fired power utility company.

To stay ahead of international competition, we must look at the facts and be willing to make change happen. This revolutionary process in creating coal-fueled energy has the ability to stoke the fires of our economy once again, and just as important, help create a healthy environment for our future


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