Rarely have I read a more unnecessarily alarming letter to the editor than Kelsey Crane’s “Mr. Northam’s pipelines” [Nov. 21].

On the road to achieving a sustainable future with wind and solar power (and perhaps other sources), we are lucky to have natural gas as an alternative to coal and, to a lesser extent, oil. Compared with coal and oil, natural gas is relatively safe, clean and plentiful. Each time a coal plant is converted to natural gas, we realize a long-term reduction in pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions.

A lesser-known benefit of natural gas is its transport by conversion to liquefied natural gas. From a humanitarian standpoint alone, it will be great to provide supplies of natural gas to those in need throughout the world.

Coal transportation is dirty, usually by train and with significant environmental harm. Oil pipelines and pumps are only somewhat cleaner.

Using trains to transport oil is dangerous. The natural gas compressor stations on the pipelines that move the natural gas along are clean and safe. They include the most modern safety equipment to protect all of the surrounding communities along the pipeline route.

We should encourage the near-term construction and use of natural gas pipelines. As sustainable fuels come online, we can phase out the coal, the oil and, yes, the natural gas.

Michael Adelman, Bethesda