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    Hot air and the war on fossil fuels [Gas in Transition]


Natural gas can power a cleaner planet. Sadly, it seems unable to power the political will of the Davos crowd, and if they continue down the same path with the same prescriptions, we will all see each other next year. Saying the same thing. [Gas in Transition, Volume 3, Issue 1]

by: Daniel Turner

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Insights, Premium, Global Gas Perspectives Articles, Vol 3, Issue 1, Energy Transition

Hot air and the war on fossil fuels [Gas in Transition]

As the World Economic Forum gathered in Davos, as expected a lot of hot air was spewed on a variety of topics. World leaders and business tycoons discussed serious global issues like climate change, the economic outlook for 2023, and the war in Ukraine. Yet the common thread connecting and dissecting these issues is ignored as an inconvenient and narrative defying truth: the war on fossil fuels.

For decades, Europe has gleefully attacked the industries responsible for producing oil, gas, and coal. These lifelines have become the scapegoat of all ills. The US, after four years of pro-fossil fuel Donald Trump, now has a president who has aggressively attacked US fossil fuel production at every turn. Government-issued leases are at the lowest level since before World War 2, and Joe Biden continues to tell people “no more”.  Not on his watch.


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No doubt, the collective intelligence that was at Davos must be incredibly high. Their combined educational degrees and credentials, their experience and pedigree, constitute an impressive gathering of minds, but their common sense is woefully lacking.  Maybe even their political courage. The easiest, most sustainable, most economically affordable, the greenest way to address all these issues is by radically increasing the production of fossil fuels, especially natural gas. 

In the US, nearly 40% of our electric grid is powered by natural gas, including a third of industry usage. In residential use, nearly half of all US homes rely on natural gas for cooking, heat, or hot water.  Our domestic natural gas production is barely tapped: in 2018, US reserves doubled as new formations were discovered. 

Responsible production and the exporting of this resource help the US economy and also the world. And yet, the US and other western leaders eschew this potential, preferring the largely Chinese-made “green” energy of wind and solar.  They claim their approach is better in the battle against climate change.

How has that worked out?

Let us look at one of the world’s leading “green” nations: Germany.  A John Hopkins University study shows that Germany has spent close to $600bn going green and yet electricity today is ten times more carbon intensive than before. German households received an additional 60% increase in their utility bills this January, on top of the 500% increase from the previous year. This is insanity. In 2019, at $0.39/MWh,, Germany was already paying three-times the American average to be “green”. These record prices crush the German economy, hurting manufacturing and leading to measly output. 

To make it worse, in order to hit their green goals, a German government audit recommends spending, or as politicians say “investing”, an additional $600bn in wind and solar. 

Why? Why double down on what has been a total failure?  Germany’s emissions are up. Its economy is stagnating. Its manufacturing is closing. Its citizens are suffering. No matter the metric, “going green” has been a disaster. It has been 20 years and half a trillion dollars, and the proposed solution is more of the same? This is Einsteinian insanity. 

Compare that to natural gas, and what could be the metric worldwide if the Davos crowd and the politicians had courage. In 2019, when the US unleashed natural gas production, prices were down, emissions were down, the economy grew, and the world sabre rattling had quieted. Fossil fuel production did not bring about havoc. It ushered in prosperity and stability. 

It can – and will –  again.

There is a common thread running through Davos’ agenda of climate change, economic outlook, and world peace, and that thread is being ignored.  Fossil fuels have been denigrated for political posturing, and world elites have turned favourably to wind and solar, the false prophets that will solve all the world’s problems. It has done the opposite and we have all the necessary proof. 

What is missing is the political will to return to what works.  Natural gas works. It is clean, cheap, abundant, and it has enough potential energy to power a revitalization of economies. Natural gas can power world peace. Natural gas can power a cleaner planet.  Sadly, it seems unable to power the political will of the Davos crowd, and if they continue down the same path with the same prescriptions, we will all see each other next year. Saying the same thing.