Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In Dependence Day

Between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club secretly took 26 million in donations from Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon to mount a Beyond Coal campaign. Implicit in this arrangement was an agreement at the highest levels of the Sierra Club that Natural Gas was better than Coal. This makes perfect sense to me considering there are essentially no mercury or particulate emissions with natural gas, a fifth the NOX, none of the SOX and half the CO2 to boot. These donations made up a significant portion of the Sierra Club's total revenues in the time period during which they occurred. Strangely, the Sierra Club made an about face in 2011 and launched a Beyond Natural Gas campaign. What kinda backstabbing, self-defeating, scorpion and the frog kinda shit is that? Why go after natural gas just as it has the price leverage to really knock coal down a notch and move political power around? The Sierra Club should take the Royal Rumble approach.

Sierra Club: After we're done with this fat fuck I'm coming after you.
Natural Gas: Right back at you buddy.
Sierra Club: Deal now...
Natural Gas: Duel later...

While I think a united front is a good idea I'm not  going to hold my breath on a Sierra Club deal. Pragmatism may temporarily exist in such an organization but there's little hope of a long term relationship between industrialists and environmentalists. That's ok though... There's a better partnership.

Natural Gas, Solar... Solar, Natural Gas

When I think about the electrical power system, hydro and natural gas immediately come to mind as widly available balancing resources that match up well with solar. These resources are CONVENTIONAL, COMPETITIVE, have POLITICAL LEVERAGE and they're GEOGRAPHICALLY DIVERSE. For the time being hydro is in hybernation which takes this resource out of the game to some degree. Natural gas on the other hand is waking up to a brand new day. I think the SEIA and the AGA should form an alliance.

The Plan

Go after Coal. Chip away at coal's market share and divy up the spoils between solar and natural gas. Design pollution regulations and system operating regulations that are coordinated and mutually beneficial.

Independence Day isn't about beating the Brits back in the day. Independence Day is about united communities living, working, fussing, fighting, fixing and celebrating together. I think the solar and natural gas communities should do some fussing and fighting and fixing together. Could be fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment