The concern from many in the environmental community is, as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman put it in a column last summer, that wholesale extraction of natural gas will "undermine new investments in wind, solar, nuclear and energy efficiency systems—which have zero emissions—and thus keep us addicted to fossil fuels for decades."Read the whole article here.
Those concerns have certainly drawn the battle lines between two highly partisan and highly motivated camps—camps that have become almost mirror images of each other, according to former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger. "The hardcore who just want to ban the industry are never going to stop saying ‘nay'… they're like the hardcore climate deniers. New York could be under water. The hardcore really is beyond reason," said Hanger.
That's a sentiment shared by John Quigley, the former head of Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources under the Rendell administration, who now lectures extensively on the natural gas boom. "On the left you have the moratorium crowd, the Alec Baldwins and the Josh Foxes of the world, that want to demonize gas," he said. " ‘The evil fossil fuel companies are out to kill us and rake in profits,' and that's just… cartoon villainy," he said. On the other side, he said, industry strains credibility, depicting itself as intrepid cowboys riding alone on America's energy frontier. They try to sell themselves as "rough and ready, plucky entrepreneur[s]," he said. "Scratch any of them and they're right-wingers."
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