Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A few different “inconvenient truths”

Many Americans noticed that between the years 2000 and 2006, the price of a gallon of gasoline rose from around $1.00 a gallon to around $4.00 a gallon. Fewer noticed that during the same time period, the price of natural gas rose from around $2.00 per therm to around $16.00 per therm. In other words, the price of NG went up twice as much as the price of gasoline.
From 2006 to today, the price of gasoline has dropped from $4.00 to $3.30. Wow.
The price of natural gas, however, has dropped from $16.00 to $4.50.
Why? Because of fracking. It is that simple. The process of fracking has started to supply the United States with cheap, reliable, locally-available energy.
By the way, in terms of available energy, Calories or BTU’s or however you want to measure them, a therm of natural gas, at $4.50, provides about three times more energy than a gallon of gas. And just for comparison sake, so that you understand how valuable this is, a therm can deliver the same amount of work that a strong young man can perform in … 1200 hours, or over 8 months of hard labor …

How is natural gas used in the United States?

A very small percentage is used in cars, buses and trucks, even though it costs less than 1/3 of gasoline or diesel fuel … the two fuels are not interchangeable but it is not terribly complicated or expensive to build a vehicle that runs on NG since it is much cleaner than gasoline.

Roughly 1/3 of NG is used to generate electricity. It is more expensive than coal for this process but it is cleaner.

Roughly 1/3 is used to directly heat homes and larger commercial buildings with a tiny bit more for water heat.

The other third is used to manufacture nitrogen fertilizer. Almost all nitrogen fertilizer is manufactured using natural gas. In the last 60 years, crop yields per acre have more than doubled in the U.S., and good cheap fertilizer has made a great difference. Take away natural gas and the world food supply would be cut in half overnight. Millions upon millions of people would quickly starve to death. The production of ethanol for fuel would have to stop because the price would quickly rise from $5.00 per gallon to $25.00 per gallon.


Why do I present these “inconvenient truths”?

Because certain people, people who would stand to profit from suffering and tragedy, are targeting fracking. They are trying to convince the American public that fracking is bad for them and should be stopped.

Just today there is an article in the news about earthquakes in Ohio being caused by fracking. These terrible earthquakes have, um, caused no property damage or any distress whatever. They are so small that most people haven’t even noticed them, the ground has actually shaken less than when a freight train rumbles past. But the people are being frightened anyway. Manipulated by the press.

I realize that some people do not like being bothered with facts. If you are one of those and you have still read this far, then I certainly apologize to you. Please go back to watching Jerry Springer and waiting for your lottery number to hit. For the rest of you, I appreciate your attention and know you will act accordingly.

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