Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Natural Gas Providers Face "Fracking" Big Problem

Natural gas vehicles are facing a wall to climb -- increased scrutiny from regulators, more neighborhoods being directly exposed to natural gas exploration, and questions arising about the fuel’s global climate benefits, according to New York Times coverage. All that said, it certainly has its advocates -- fleet managers in love with their NGVs, technology suppliers proud of their latest offerings, T. Boone Pickens, Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute, and certain environmentalists who see natural gas a bridge away from gasoline/diesel toward renewables and biofuels.

Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, an attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center who has fought for tighter regulation of natural gas drillers, said: “If natural gas is a bridge fuel, how long and wide is that bridge? Right now, the propaganda suggests a wide, long bridge where natural gas is imported, exported, used for transportation fleets, electricity generation, and other purposes for nearly a 100 years.”

There's also a new movie out on the subject. A while back, a filmmaker named Josh Fox was asked to lease his land for “fracking,” or drilling for natural gas. The experience led him to traveling cross country and making an Academy Award nominated movie called "Gasland," about the growing natural gas drilling boom in the US, and the environmental and safety pressures connected with it. One incident covered in the movie shows a Pennsylvania town close to drilling fields where residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. A lot is going on behind the scenes as this country becomes known as Gasland, according to the filmmaker.

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