Natural Gas: Bridge Or Dead End?
From Huffington Post
Natural gas is often touted as a bridge fuel: an interim step between the heavily polluting fossil fuels we depend on today and the clean renewable energy systems we hope for tomorrow. But the infrastructure we deploy to increase natural gas may actually inhibit the transition to solar and wind power. Rather than a bridge, natural gas may be a dead end.
The idea of natural gas as a bridge draws on three main points. First, natural gas produces significantly less carbon dioxide than coal or oil. Second, it releases fewer impurities like sulfur and mercury compared with other fossil fuels. Third, many experts anticipate that obtaining even 20 percent of our energy from renewables in the next couple decades will be difficult. Natural gas, advocates argue, offers a more realistic large-scale carbon reduction strategy in the short-term because we have already addressed many of the technical challenges of producing, transporting, and consuming it.