Thursday, March 23, 2023

Play

A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

Play

The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Natural Gas Industry Misleads, Environmental Groups Say

Play

Monday, August 31, 2020   

SEATTLE -- The natural gas industry has launched a major campaign in the Northwest to tout the fuel source as a reliable way to fight climate change.

Environmental groups say it's as harmful as other dirty sources for the planet.

The Partnership for Energy Progress, made up energy companies and unions, is launching a $2.8 million campaign this year to promote natural gas as the energy source of the future.

Ingrid Archibald, safe cities field organizer for the group Stand.Earth contended even the word "natural" is misleading, since three-quarters of the fuel comes from fracking, nationwide.

"Burning gas is just as natural as burning any other fossil fuels," Archibald said. "And just because it comes from the earth doesn't mean that doing so is a good thing or that it's sustainable or good for our communities or for the environment."

The group pushing natural gas, the Partnership for Energy Progress, said natural gas is necessary to transition from coal to renewable sources like wind and solar.

The Partnership for Energy Progress includes the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters and energy companies Puget Sound Energy and TC Energy, which is behind the Keystone XL pipeline.

Jesse Piedfort, director of the Washington state chapter of Sierra Club, noted the fuel often leaks methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere.

He said we'll have to move away from natural gas if we want to stop climate change.

"They have a lot of money on their side and we have the science on our side," Piedfort said. "We know what the climate models show. We know what the truth is. We know where we have to start going on energy and natural gas."

The Partnership for Energy Progress has gone on the offensive in places like Bellingham, where the city is considering phasing out natural gas and electrifying homes instead.

Other cities are looking at the building sector as well, which is the fastest growing source of climate pollution in Washington state and up 50% since 1990.

Archibald said the natural gas industry understands the stakes.

"They know that electrification is a huge threat to their bottom line and their plan to frack and burn gas for as long as they can," Archibald said. "And we're calling that out and saying, 'We can't do that anymore. We need to stop burning gas. We need to move on to clean and renewable energy as quickly as we can.'"

The Partnership for Energy Progress notes natural gas is a cheaper form of fuel.

But Archibald doesn't believe the industry evaluates the full cost of gas, including its impacts on indoor air quality.

UPDATE: In statement from the Partnership for Energy Progress, the group said it will, "play a leadership role in communicating our progress toward advancing renewable energy and addressing climate change." It added that the industry captures organic methane that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and converts it to energy.

Disclosure: Sierra Club-Beyond Coal Campaign contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
In 2020, 35% of Idaho mothers had Medicaid at the time of their child's birth. (WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With concerning trends emerging for pregnant and postpartum women, frustration is growing that Idaho lawmakers could end the session without …


Health and Wellness

Health advocates are promoting a package of bills this legislative session to make health care easier to get - and more affordable. The Care 4 All …

Social Issues

A new study from the University of New Hampshire found New England's LGBTQ+ residents experience higher rates of food insufficiency, the measure of …


According to the Center for American Progress, nearly nine in 10 employers, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges use background checks to screen for applicants' criminal records. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A large percentage of Missourians who could to have their criminal records "expunged" have not done so, despite the effects expungement -- referred …

Social Issues

A person's work personnel file can be important to review, but some Washingtonians are finding them hard to obtain. A bill in Olympia would ensure …

The most recent Farm Bill covered areas such as agricultural conservation, trade and foreign food assistance, farm credit and research. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The U.S. Farm Bill is up for reauthorization, and Congress faces calls to avoid any delays so certain programs can keep helping farmers and consumers …

Social Issues

Youth advocates continue to sound the alarm over the impact flavored tobacco products have on teenagers, and hope Minnesota lawmakers take another …

Environment

As wildfire seasons in Colorado and across the American West become longer, less predictable and increasingly destructive, a new report aims to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021