Perhaps as important as the president of the United States acknowledging the importance of natural gas and hydraulic fracturing to America’s energy present (and future) is a sense that such support is pretty far and wide. Here’s a quick roundup of some notable friends of natural gas – affordable, abundant and creating jobs all across the country – with a nod to Energy In Depth’s Steve Everley for help in corralling the links.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio:
“Shale development means economic development, and that’s exciting news for Ohio. It means tens of thousands of good-paying jobs across our state, all while helping to lower power costs for Ohio consumers. … We know that Ohio is home to countless innovative companies and a world-class workforce—now we need to ensure that energy companies arriving in the state are utilizing all that Ohio has to offer.”
Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman:
“The natural gas boom in the United States offers a tremendous opportunity to strengthen American energy security by drastically reducing our dependence on imported oil, while at the same time creating new U.S. jobs and industries. This is precisely why President Barack Obama is committed to safely and responsibly harnessing American oil and gas resources, and to developing the technologies that will unlock new domestic energy sources.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark.:
“I’m a firm believer in natural gas. It already supplies almost one-fourth of all energy in the U.S. and we’re discovering more natural gas reserves every day thanks to newer, safer drilling techniques and technologies. Better yet, more than 98 percent of natural gas comes from right here in North America. … With the Fayetteville Shale in the northern part of (Arkansas) and the Haynesville Shale in the southern part, we have an abundant supply of clean, affordable energy to offer the world.”
Natural gas and fracking have support from strong environmentalists including …
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.:
“This is what I tell environmental folks: Natural gas is really important to a lot of renewables, solar and wind, ensuring that option is out there. … Natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels, so you start with that as your basic proposition.”
U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.:
“I think environmentalists should want natural gas on the table as an option. When coal is also going to be considered for new electrical generation or an extension of the life of an existing coal-fired power plant, I think it would be wise for us to not take natural gas off the table.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo.:
“Like any industrial process, fracking has some risks but, really, if done properly, certainly out in the West, there is literally no risk — certainly much less than many industrial processes. … I love open space and wilderness, but we all drive cars, right? And we all need energy. We recognize that, along with education, energy is the other necessary component to lifting people out of poverty.”
That last point is so important. Energy development is the difference between modern and primitive civilization – facilitating greater freedom, mobility and opportunity for better, healthier lives.
Candidly, the choice offered by some opponents of natural gas and hydraulic fracturing isn’t between more responsible development and less; it’s between responsible development and NO development. It’s an extreme choice. As energy blogger Steve Maley posted a few weeks ago, “If you’re not a fan of natural gas you’re a fan of mud huts.”
The right choice is to safely and responsibly develop a resource that can play a major role in securing America’s energy future.