Energy Security

While the Department of Defense and others ‘in the know’ call for greater security from renewables, it’s the oil and gas industry trying to spin it the opposite way.

“The world is changing, and we at the Department of Defense can’t afford to stand still. We need to compete for the energy technologies that will define the future. Our economy — and military capability — depend on it.”

Joe Bryan, Senior Climate Advisor to the Secretary of Defense

“Climate change poses an existential threat—not just to our environment, but to our health, our communities, our national security, and our economic well-being.”

President Biden
David Callahan, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), was in our county spinning his ‘drill baby drill’ party line to a local business reporter last week. At the crux of it all, while forgetting the facts, as well as the future environmental health of our Commonwealth and its citizens, was his call for less regulation and faster permitting. As if we need more 1600-year half-life radioactive shale drilling waste in ordinary garbage landfills across Pennsylvania, where leachate flows out of those ‘toxic teabags’ into our waterways. Radium 226 is water soluble you know.
Mr. Callahan’s interview completely overlooked the fact that the Biden administration just approved maximum capacity LNG exports to Europe, or that President Biden has been working overtime, to persuade other nations to help fill Europe’s energy needs. Shills from the O&G industry also like to whine about their imaginary Biden administration war against drilling, completely ignoring the fact that more drilling was permitted in the U.S. during his first year in the White House, than during two years of the previous anti-Ukraine, pro-Putin administration.
MSC president Callahan also talked as though you can flip a switch and drill more wells, but it’s actually the drillers themselves who have hit the brakes on new drilling, in order to right their ship for investors who now demand more financial responsibility, due to widespread bankruptcies and their poor track record in the recent past, even with all the government subsidies the oil and gas industry has received for decades.

I use the word “addiction” advisedly because it is an apt metaphor and President George W. Bush, a former Texas oilman, used it first. He surprised many in 2006 when he acknowledged during his State of the Union address that “America is addicted to oil.” We have a long history of oil dependence. Congress has given fossil fuels tax breaks for more than a century. Tax subsidies rose 28 percent between 2017 and 2019, and now amount to more than $20 billion annually. Oil and gas production receive 80 percent.

William S. Becker: “The cure for our oil addiction” – The Hill
There’s no one nation that owns the sun or the wind, so the real fast track to energy security and independence is renewable energy. It’s also the only way to break the fossil fuel addiction that has pushed our planet to the brink of survival, largely due to manmade climate change. Countries like Italy, and others across the globe, have now set renewable energy goals, fast tracking their development over the next decade. There’s no time to waste!

As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres put it, the climate crisis is drawing an “atlas of human suffering” around the world. Defusing this crisis will require major changes in how we get our energy—both in the United States and around the world. Global emissions of heat-trapping gases must be cut in half by 2030—and even faster in the US, as the largest historic climate polluter pays its fair share of climate debt… And making those cuts will require phasing out oil, gas, and other fossil fuels as rapidly as possible.

“The Case for Declaring a National Climate Emergency” – The Nation
Pennsylvania needs leaders ‘under the dome’ in Harrisburg and Congress with a futuristic vision for energy and their grandkids, instead of repeating, or even worsening, our pollution legacy from coal. Our waterways still run orange from decades of coal mining. In Third World nations, it’s often called a “resource curse” when fossil fuels have been hurriedly extracted with relaxed regulations, the last thing we need promoted here, judging by all the violations the shale gas industry has wracked-up during its first 15 years.

Shapiro’s office said in a statement: “Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean air and pure water. With this plea, CNX has acknowledged to reporting fraudulent emissions information. CNX will provide this reporting from now on, and is making contributions towards restoration work in Allegheny and Washington County that exceed the penalties for committing these environmental crimes in Pennsylvania.”

“CNX pleads to criminal charges for misreporting air pollution in Washington County” – StateImpact Pennsylvania

Range Resources Corp. on Friday pleaded no contest to charges brought by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s (AG) Office and a statewide grand jury as part of a two-year criminal investigation into unconventional oil and natural gas development. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. was also charged by the AG’s office on Monday for environmental crimes in Dimock, where for years the company and some landowners clashed over alleged water well contamination. AG Josh Shapiro also indicated that additional charges could be filed against other operators in the state.

“Range Resources Resolves Environmental Charges in Pennsylvania Investigation; Cabot Charged” – Natural Gas Intelligence

“Under our state laws, if convicted, this company will be sentenced to fines and restitution. There is no jail time for these environmental crimes, and fines are not enough. That’s why we are, once again, calling for stronger laws to hold these companies accountable and protect Pennsylvanians’ health, and demanding DEP toughen up the independent oversight we need them to provide for the industries they regulate.”

Instead of fast tracking fracking, let’s focus more on renewables, and the “clean air and pure water” we’ve been guaranteed by our Pennsylvania Constitution.

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