Natural Gas, Fracking and Pipelines

A couple years ago Boone Pickens touted natural gas as a “bridge fuel” to a cleaner energy future. The problem is that this bridge fuel has become a permanent structure that is standing in the way of a cleaner future and presenting a host of problems on its own.

First, natural gas is the way energy companies and power companies make money these days and they are loathed to give it up. Fracking, which produces two thirds of the natural gas in the US, does release carbon into the atmosphere, does contaminate groundwater and does cause earthquakes. And although natural gas does burn a lot cleaner than coal and oil it still contributes to global warming.

And finally we come to a problem that hits close to home; pipelines are needed to transport the fracked natural gas. One pipeline that will go over the mountains and through the valleys of Nelson County.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a tragedy that is further compounded by the fact it is not needed and looks backward not forward. The Europeans and the Chinese, potential customers for Dominion’s natural gas, are not even investing in facilities to receive it.

Leslie Cockburn says, “High-pressure gas pipelines are a ticking time bomb for the communities they pass through. Explosions and poisonous leaks that foul the waters are all too common.” 

Louis Harpster