The clean energy dance goes something like this: Two steps forward, one step backward.
Two steps forward.
The EPA finally won something. Two things actually. Their rules were upheld recenlty in court. Now, dirty coal plants must scrub their stacks, and dirty states are not allowed to export their pollution across state borders. Respectable victories both. The beginning of the end for coal one can only hope.
One step backward.
On the same day as the coal victories, the New York Times ran an op-ed about how gas is a good thing -- that is extracting gas from the shale rock and burning it to make electricity. Titled "The Right Way to Develop Shale Gas" and written by Michael Bloomberg and Fred Krupp, it was a huge disappointment.
Krupp is head of the Environmental Defense Fund and former NYC mayor Bloomberg certainly trends green. Here they are promoting gas fracking. They should be embarrassed.
In the op-ed, there was no mention of the potential negative impacts of fracking on drinking water let alone ecosystems. In the fracking process, unknown chemicals (industry has sued to keep the contents of their quixotic brew secret) are injected into the ground.
Also, the entire op-ed represents the outdated fossil fuel mindset that got us into the climate change mess in the first place. Burning more fossil fuels are not going to get us out of it. Gas is cleaner than coal but it is still dirty.
They could have said things like let's use our economic muscle and our substantial brainpower to move as fast as possible to a clean energy economy. They could have kept the part about jobs and energy independence -- both are very real benefits of clean energy.
So round and round we go again,
Two steps forward,
One step backward,
Now do-si-do your partner!