Natural Gas: A key component of the Commonwealth’s Clean Power Plan

The following is a guest post from Joe Horvath, Senior Communications Strategist with Williams. You can follow Joe on Twitter @joetorious and Williams at @WilliamsUpdates.

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Ask PA DEP to capitalize on natural gas produced in Pennsylvania by making it prominent part of commonwealth’s Clean Power Plan


The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is seeking suggestions from residents on the best ways to meet carbon-reduction goals set forth for Pennsylvania in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. Specifically, the plan focuses on reducing emissions from electric power generation.

Of course, one of the most environmentally responsible, least-cost ways to do this – without sacrificing reliability – is to make natural gas the primary fuel for electricity generated in and for Pennsylvania.

If you agree, we encourage you to attend one of 14 DEP public meetings or submit a comment onlineby Nov. 12, 2015 to urge decision-makers to take advantage of Pennsylvania’s abundant natural gas supply.

Ask the DEP to:

  • Help utilities expedite the retirement of older, less-efficient power plants, and add more natural gas-fueled generation infrastructure to their portfolios.
  • Work with distribution companies to connect more homes and businesses directly to the vast natural gas supply we have in Pennsylvania.
  • Drive Pennsylvania’s economy and help meet U.S. energy needs by increasing pipeline capacity that helps us better connect with nearby markets.

Remind the DEP that:

  • Natural gas has significantly reduced carbon emissions from power plants and industry, helping the U.S. reach its lowest carbon levels in nearly a quarter century.
  • Natural gas is the only clean-burning, low-cost, abundant, reliable and locally produced fuel capable of meeting around-the-clock energy needs.
  • Pennsylvania is home of some of the world’s most prolific deposits of natural gas.
  • As a Pennsylvanian, you want to benefit directly from the commonwealth’s rich natural gas supply.
  • Natural gas is a major contributor to Pennsylvania’s economy, and we should continue to harness its ability to drive economic growth and stability.

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Brittany Ramos

Brittany was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended Pennsylvania State University where she earned degrees in Public Relations and Psychology. She recently earned her Masters in Sociology from Sam Houston State University. Brittany works in the External Affairs for Cabot where she manages communications and outreach projects to community members, elected officials, media and online supporters.

Comments 3

  1. In criticizing pacifist leader, Neville Chamberlain’s, repeated, immoral appeasements of Nazi aggression and duplicity, Winston Churchill said:

    “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

    The natural gas industry is now appeasing the EPA’s crocodile — the totalitarian, unconstitutional Clean Power Plan — in order to use this rights-violating, immoral, government power-grab to sell more of its product, natural gas, to the utilities. However, the evil unintended consequence of this action is to aid the totalitarian-minded in the federal government to grow the size of government and the power of federal bureaucrats at the expense of violating the individual rights and freedoms of both industries and consumers. Furthermore, this appeasement is entirely unjustified and unnecessary because — with zero government intervention — utilities in the future were already going to be building ONLY natural gas-fired power plants for sound, economic reasons.

    The natural gas industry should stop being so short-sighted and opportunistic. It should adopt the long-range, rational, morally-justifiable, rights-protecting, limited-government philosophy that was held by America’s Founding Fathers. When it does so, the natural gas industry will passionately OPPOSE the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

  2. Mr. Saunders –

    Thanks for your comment. As you pointed out, there are certainly many “sound, economic” – and, importantly, I’d add environmental – reasons why utilities are increasingly using natural gas not only to meet peak demand, but to meet around-the-clock electricity needs.

    In my opinion, it’s refreshing that, rather than simply accepting a Clean Power Plan mandate from the EPA, Pennsylvania has chosen to gain public input as it works to create its own Clean Power Plan. And because natural gas is such an environmentally responsible fuel source (not to mention one that is also affordable, abundant, reliable and locally produced), we saw no reason to shy away from asking for it to be a major part of Pennsylvania’s Clean Power Plan.

    When we saw that the Pennsylvania DEP was seeking public input to inform the plan that will inevitably be created, there were two choices:

    • Sit on the sidelines, or

    • Be part of the process by reminding the decision-makers about the fact that we’re sitting on top of the world’s greatest supply of a clean-burning, affordable, reliable and abundant fuel source, and that more Pennsylvanians want to and should benefit from it.

    While many in this commonwealth fully understand the tremendous advantages of natural gas, many don’t. And so, as someone who supports this industry – and who truly believes in all of the benefits of natural gas (from environmental to economic) – I believe it is our duty to advocate accordingly.

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

  3. Joe, I thank you for sharing your and the natural gas industry’s perspective on the arbitrary, coercive force unleashed upon all energy generators and users by the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

    However, I believe that in my short posting that I have failed to make it clear why this government action is so deeply irrational and immoral. I hope that the following will make that clear.

    First, the Clean Power Plan is a violation of the respect for reason and science because it is based upon a scientific myth, namely, that the Earth faces catastrophic consequences if the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are not immensely and immediately reduced. I deliver 45 minute presentations showing the scientific evidence proving that the Global Warming Crisis Theory is a myth. Yes, additional CO2 will slightly, but NOT catastrophically, warm the Earth, and CO2 brings many benefits that the media refuses to reveal like the fact that CO2 is plant food, NOT pollution. I am sure that the natural gas industry has enough intelligent scientists and engineers to recognize these scientific facts.

    Second, all actions taken by individuals or industries must be based upon verified, unalterable principles that insure their long range survival. It is never in a person’s or an industry’s long range interest to act in an unprincipled manner, that is, for a short range gain at the expense of their long range survival. I contend that acquiescence to and sanctioning of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is just such an unprincipled action. This sanctioning is unprincipled because the industry is conceding the non-existent RIGHT of the government to use its coercive power (i.e., its guns and enforcement agencies) to impose its irrational, unscientific, unjustifiable action upon every energy generator and user in the nation. Arbitrary, coercive government force is a very real threat to every individual’s and every industry’s long range survival. Arbitrary, coercive government force is a violation of the actual RIGHTS of individuals and industries to freely decide what actions to take to protect their long range survival.

    Third, this Plan’s solution to this mythical carbon dioxide catastrophe is an immoral exercise of illegitimate, coercive government power, the seizure of control over all energy generation and use in the nation. It was the exercise of arbitrary, coercive government power that the Founders of this nation fought a Revolutionary War to eradicate.

    I realize that it is not your job to be a historian who looks at the bigger picture of the ideological trends of the entire nation. However, you must realize that there is a decades-long war being waged upon ALL industries by the environmental movement. Environmentalists and their allies in government are attacking the rational, scientific, moral, Rights-based freedoms that this nation was founded upon. During the last four decades, environmentalists have made myriad Irrational and Unscientific claims which then became the basis for the repeated Immoral Coercive actions of federal, state, and local governments. Just a few examples of these outrageous actions are:

    1.) shutting down the growth of the nuclear power industry with irrational claims about safety,
    2.) destroying hundreds of farms in California’s San Joaquin Valley by denying them water to protect the Delta Smelt fish,
    3.) jailing a man for collecting rain water on his own property,
    4.) fining the Sackett family $35,000, per day for clearing away debris blocking the flow of a stream.
    5.) jailing a farmer for accidentally running over a kangaroo rat with his tractor.

    To protect our individual and your industry’s long range survival, this irrational, unscientific, and immoral coercive political power of the government must be stopped, NOT sanctioned and acquiesced to.

    To provide some historical evidence for what I am advocating, I would remind the natural gas industry that in the 1930s in Germany, the collectivist principle of racial superiority (Aryan race superiority) became the ideology of the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany (i.e., the NAZIs). This irrational, unscientific, immoral principle provided the sanction needed by the Totalitarian Nazi State to use arbitrary, coercive government power against anyone or any group that opposed their racial doctrines.

    Reverend Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), who was a prominent Protestant pastor, emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the following quotation:

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    “Because I was not a Socialist.
    “Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    “Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    “Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    “Because I was not a Jew.
    “Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    In the 1960s and 1970s a new irrational, unscientific, immoral principle arose in world culture, environmentalism. Environmentalism is the belief that pristine nature (i.e., nature without man in it) is morally superior to human life and any works of man. The leaders of the environmentalist movement have even labeled Mankind itself as a plague upon and threat to the Earth. These leaders embody this perspective in their phrase “Save the Planet” which is indoctrinated into every child in school from kindergarten through graduate school. Every child is indoctrinated to HATE “polluting industries” and all industries, except “Green” industries, are labeled as polluters.

    With the rise of the irrational, unscientific, immoral ideology of environmentalism comes the necessity to put an eco-extension onto Rev. Neimoller’s insightful verse:

    Then they came for the nuclear power plants and I did not speak out —
    Because I did not run a nuclear power plant.

    “Then they came for the coal-fired power plants, and I did not speak out—
    “Because I did not run a coal-fired power plant.

    “Then they came for natural-gas-fired power plants —and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    I hope that I have conveyed to you the larger scope and longer time frame of the ideological conflict in which the natural gas industry now finds itself. I hope that the leaders of the natural gas industry will recognize this fact and will act to protect their long range survival by repudiating the irrational, unscientific, immoral, coercive political force that is contained in the Clean Power Plan of the Obama administration’s EPA.

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