A new natural gas answer to climate change?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Dec. 3 front-page story "An energy answer in the shale below?" should have provided timely reading for the Obama administration as it prepared for the international climate change gathering in Copenhagen this week. The article rightly focused on a game-changing discovery for America's energy future -- clean, abundant natural gas available in vast quantities right here in the United States.

This discovery can also be a game-changer for the role America plays as a leader in the international climate change debate.

Natural gas supports nearly 3 million U.S. jobs and has the potential to create many more across our country. Equally important, natural gas burns twice as cleanly as coal, so it can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It can also partner with renewables to power America when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining.

As President Obama and Congress tackle tough issues such as job creation and climate change, it's clear that one American resource -- natural gas -- is available here and now to help create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Regina Hopper, Washington

The writer is president and chief executive of America's Natural Gas Alliance, which represents natural gas producers.

--

Regarding "Drilling right into a heated environmental debate" [Economy & Business, Dec. 3]:

Gas exploration companies' assertion that the fluids for hydraulic fracturing contain "only a tiny percentage of chemicals" is a distraction. After all, sewage is 99.9 percent pure water.

New York, home of Love Canal, should know better, and it should permit drilling only with totally benign substances and full disclosure. The inevitable public relations arguments that such is not possible should be met with extreme skepticism.

Barnes Bierck, Chapel Hill, N.C.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company