Thought it worth posting this thoughtful and civil discussion between Kate Sinding of NRDC and Michael Shellenberger of The Breakthrough Institute on the debate over energy policy and fracking in the U.S.. Some agreement, but mostly disagreement. As you’ll gather from the interview, NRDC is opposed to fracking primarily because the natural gas boom keeps the U.S. economy hooked on a carbon-based fuel source, an obstacle to more renewable energies. Shellenberger takes the more balanced approach, arguing that natural gas is better than coal in all respects, including environment impacts, worker safety, and the economic benefits. Sinding argues “better is not good enough.” Interesting exchange beginning about 26:05 where Shellenberger points out NRDC’s about position on fracking nearly five years, having previously strongly supported natural gas. He notes politics and Hollywood hypocrites, rather than environmental concerns, have inflamed the fracking debate. Good primer for those who haven’t followed the complex and nuanced political debate.
Environmental Defense Fund is taking heat from other environmental groups for promoting sustainable energy practices, as reported by Lenny Bernstein over at WaPo.
In an unusually public dispute, about 70 environmental groups Wednesday scolded one of their larger brethren, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), for joining with a group of energy companies that support hydraulic fracturing. Continue reading
Similar to climate change, the issue of hydraulic fracturing is now deeply mired in the quagmire of national politics and caught up in environmental hysteria. Josh Fox’s movie Gasland created a huge sensation – decrying the environmental evils of fracking, including exploding water faucets seen here, and calling for a national moratorium on fracking. Hollywood too has entered the fray, with Matt Damon’s Promised Land movie, adding fuel (no pun intended) to the political fire. So, here we go again – what and who is the public to believe regarding the risks and dangers of fracking. Is Hollywood sensationalizing the issue just to sell more tickets?! Continue reading