By Ed Finklea of Alliance of Western Energy Consumers
A recent op-ed rightly pointed out the “fastest and cheapest” way for America to protect the climate is incentivizing oil and gas producers to capture methane leaks and emissions rather than banning its use or restricting new, innovative infrastructure investments.
President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act included many key components that will help reduce emissions in a smart way by making investments in incentives rather than unrealistic mandates.
Sadly, some cities and states are considering policies that ban natural gas, our most affordable, reliable domestic energy resource. Natural gas is 50% cleaner than coal and abundantly available here in North America. And our local utilities in Medford are investing in reducing emissions by blending in renewable natural gas and hydrogen, which are even cleaner. If they are threatened with no longer being able to sell their product, they will have little incentive to make investments in new, green technologies.
Carl Pope, former chairman of the Sierra Club, got it right in his piece in the Mail Tribune, “To truly protect the climate, Biden must tighten methane limits.” We should incentivize our local natural gas providers to purchase fuels from producers who limit methane emissions within their operations, not ban natural gas.
This article was originally published in the Medford Mail Tribune.