Regarding the June 12 Washington Post Magazine article “Eruption,” about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline:
The pipeline is not needed, and neither is natural gas. Renewable energy sources such as solar, off-shore wind, geothermal and retrofit-hydroelectric can more than make up for the closures of coal-fired power plants. Once renewable energy systems are in place, and except for minor maintenance costs, the energy they provide is free and inexhaustible and does not emit greenhouse gases.
Natural gas is as dirty as coal, from ground to combustion, because of huge losses of methane that won’t be stopped by the new Environmental Protection Agency rule on methane leaks, which applies only to new facilities. Further, besides contributing to climate change, fossil fuels pollute our air, and that pollution has significant health effects. A 2013 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and endorsed by the EPA found that 200,000 Americans die prematurely each year because of air pollution and that vehicle emissions were the most significant contributor to that pollution. Additionally, 44 percent of Americans live in counties where it is unhealthy to breathe. We shouldn’t have to live in an unhealthy petrochemical haze and face a worsening climate crisis in the future. We need to transition to renewable energy now, not 20 years from now.
William F. Limpert, Smithsburg, Md.