Having attended the “Think About Energy Briefing” I was expecting an informative presentation on natural gas-related “economic and environmental opportunities” as the agenda described.
However, there was too much family, comedic and anecdotal storytelling about how wonderful things are with abundant natural gas and the low price of gasoline — that everyone in the room knew.
Give us facts and data and tell us something we do not know. This was the first energy presentation that I attended without one graph or chart.
It was interesting to learn that the ratio of employees at a nuclear power plant is much higher than at a combined-cycle natural gas power plant per megawatt of production.
It was also interesting to hear a natural gas executive oppose subsidies for any form of energy production. However, many subsidies are often hidden at the front and back ends of energy production and the balance sheet.
A speaker said there was a recent and small decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions but not where, when or whether any other variables were involved or who documented it.
How can one think about, or discuss energy, today without one mention of “climate?” Don’t ignore it.
How can we think about energy and natural gas with no mention of increasing methane emissions? Methane is a dangerous greenhouse gas that escapes from gas wells and pipelines.
Also, everything is not going well with the Mariner East natural gas pipeline. Any discussion should have included the delays, legal problems, lawsuits, spills, sinkholes, and fines from the PA Department of Protection (DEP) that have occurred.
Every energy presentation should include something on how we can improve our efficiency as consumers and how to reduce our energy consumption whether for economic, environmental or social reasons.
Is there new technology that consumers can use? How can we get a better price or group rate?
There is always safety information that everyone should know and be reminded about when it comes to natural gas such as, “Call Before Your Dig”, using gas safely, and even how to identify an abandoned gas well when hiking or hunting in PA forests.
Give us something that we can use and tell us something that we don’t know.
And to U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, you are not a cheerleader for the natural gas industry. You represent all of us and you are our inside link to what is happening in Washington, D.C.
You could have given us a summary of recent federal energy legislation in Washington and how you voted and why on related legislation.
You could have given the group an update on a recent plan by the Trump administration to reduce regulations of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change. What is your position on this?
Next time, give us information and, in this case, energy and climate news, from Washington and updates on new and pending legislation that we might not know otherwise and why you support or oppose certain legislation or policy.
We expect more and deserve more.
Mike Molesevich is a member of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, and an energy and environmental consultant who has been in business for 32 years.