If Path To Renewables Wrong, So What? No Harm Is Done

from PAUL AGOGLIA

If Path To Renewables Wrong,

So What? No Harm Is Done

To the Editor:

Mr. Downey and Mr. Zagata, apparent experts in fracked gas, and I (pro renewable) will not be here in 50 years to say to one another, “I told you so”.  Therefore it makes sense for us to ensure there is a future that includes four changes of season per year for posterity and for wildlife in Otsego County.

While both Downey and Zagata tout gas, and recently attempted to show negatives of renewables, neither made an attempt to paint a true picture of their buddy down in Pennsylvania, fracked gas.

There are well over 500 new “fracking ponds” scattered across northern and western Pennsylvania.  Looking like a bad case of acne on a clear face, they are illustrated on easy to obtain maps.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) does not keep a list of where these ponds are.  I wonder if that is by design or due to a lack of oversight staff?

Many ponds contain chemical waste.  While it appears that these “ponds” are eventually “cleaned up,” there are no signs telling wildlife which ponds to avoid.

If you were around for the acid rain issues in the 1970s and 1980s, you know how hard it is for wildlife to tell us there is an issue, other than laying belly up.

It can also be difficult to pinpoint the culprit – in the acid rain case, it was soot from coal-burning smoke stacks in the industrial Midwest that was impacting the lakes of the Adirondacks.

No one can claim to have a crystal ball that will tell him/her that the geology of Pennsylvania is permanently stable for eons to come, and therefore, that it is safe to frack in Pennsylvania.

Remember Pangea from Earth Science?  Things move!  Surprise!

There are indications of apparent health-related issues being reported already, less than a decade into fracking.  How about a neighbor to a fracking site who decides he/she wants/needs to put in a new water well.  Will they hit clean water or contaminated water?  Will the well have to be monitored permanently to be on the safe side?  Who picks up the cost long after the frackers are gone?

Why would anyone in Otsego County, New York want us to contribute to Pennsylvania’s developing geological nightmare by buying in?  Solar and wind are currently at a levelized cost equal to if not better than that of electricity from natural gas fired power plants.

Geothermal as indicated by Jay Egg appears ripe to give gas a run for the money as a heat source.  You want jobs? Well let’s consider laying geothermal pipe!

The secret issue with natural and fracked gas that no Democrat, Republican or gas-industry representative wants to talk about is methane.

Based on an MIT study done almost 10 years ago, all that is needed is a 3 percent loss of natural gas anywhere along the pipe (the frack well, frack site, CNG truck, decompressor station, destination site) and then natural gas is worse than coal for the environment.  All this because of the impact a small amount of escaping methane has in the air.

We have two paths we can choose from that I am aware of.  Gas will keep us toasty warm for years, but if gas climate deniers are wrong, they leave us no “out.”  And you always want an “out” or “mulligan.”

If the renewable path is taken and climate scientists are wrong, well, we then happily take our mulligan and life goes on.

PAUL AGOGLIA

Oneonta

 


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