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Monday, October 10, 2016

Engineer: Renewables Aren't Ready for Keep-It-In-the-Ground Movement to Be Practical

From Gas & Oil:
As an engineer and retired business leader, I believe that renewable energy and energy conservation are important for meeting our long term energy needs, especially if they can reduce dependence on oil imports that drain U.S. financial wealth and enrich countries that are not necessarily friendly allies. 
I also believe that climate change is real. In fact, scientific evidence shows that the earth’s climate has changed continually since the beginning of time, with both warming and cooling cycles. However, I am not convinced that scientific evidence proves that the current climate change cycle is caused by humans or by the use of fossil fuels. But that debate is not the primary objective of this article. 
Natural gas and oil production from every well – big and small - declines rapidly with time. In as little as one or two years, production typically declines to a small fraction of what it was originally. Therefore, new reservoirs must be discovered and new wells must be continually drilled (and stimulated by hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”) to the maintain production levels required to meet the nation’s energy needs. Otherwise, shortages occur and energy prices increase drastically (as occurred in 2003 to 2014 before U.S. shale resources were widely developed). 
So, it is a concern that anti-fossil fuel advocates are gaining ground with politicians calling for bans on fossil fuels and fracking. A July report4 by Oil Change International (OCI), a coalition of national and regional organizations opposed to fossil fuel production and consumption, opposes all pipeline capacity expansions, especially any carrying natural gas to market from the Appalachian Basin.
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