Op-Ed: Natural Gas Part of Energy Future Along With Renewables

Delmarva Now op-ed (2018-04-24) Salisbury University Perdue School of Business finance professor Dan Ervin cautioned against energy policies that completely discard fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, in favor of solar and wind energy. Ervin argued that implementing a 100% renewable energy policy based on current solar and wind energy technologies will drive up Maryland’s energy prices and stifle the state’s economy.

Ervin stated that continuing innovations and investments need to be made in natural gas technologies and supported proposed pipeline projects in the state and that while solar and wind costs have dropped neither are “economically viable without subsidies.” Ervin also highlighted energy sector emission declines in the United States for carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide declines since 2006. From the op-ed:

In general, pipelines are the safest method of fuel transportation. Nationally, dozens of environmental groups are involved in a “keep-it-in-the-ground” campaign, zeroing in on oil and gas companies that provide 80 percent of the nation’s energy and 12 million jobs. …

The proponents of solar and wind know the combination of these two technologies account for just slightly more than 3 percent of America’s energy supply and 7 percent of the nation’s electricity, despite generous help from federal tax credits and state mandates for renewables. …

With energy consumption expected to grow substantially during the next 30 years, we’d better be prepared. For all the talk about the prospects of wind and sun meeting all of our energy needs by mid-century, the evidence suggests it’s a bad idea, and we would pay a huge price for such shortsightedness in electricity shortages, in closed industries and in lost jobs.

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