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Business Review Board / July 27, 2016

Leftist Support for Natural Gas Sits on Empty

Natural gas was once cherished by leftists. Now they want it eradicated.

Earlier this week at the DNC convention, Bernie Sanders declared: “This election is about climate change, the greatest environmental crisis facing our planet, and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and habitable for our kids and future generations.” Not jihad, mind you, as evidenced by the fact the DNC has skirted the topic thus far. But we digress. Even if the premise was true, the environmental lobby once lauded natural gas as an effective carbon footprint mitigator. And considering this alternative form of energy has defied expectations and saved Americans billions at the pump, that’s great news, right? Just one problem: Ecofascists have decided to end their friendly relationship with natural gas.

As Karen Alderman Harbert, who heads the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, writes in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, this year’s Democratic Party Platform is a radical departure from just four years ago, when natural gas played a crucial role in the energy portion of the 2012 manifesto. Today, Democrats basically consider it irrelevant.

“Supported by both campaigns and enthusiastically cheered by environmentalists, the final language stops short of calling for a nationwide fracking ban but incorporates a raft of anti-energy provisions, such as promising new Environmental Protection Agency rules on fracking, instituting a Keystone XL-like ‘climate test’ for future federal permitting, and generally discouraging the use of natural gas,” Harbert writes. The departure is quite remarkably. In 2012, the platform committee promoted “an all-of-the-above approach to developing America’s many energy resources, including wind, solar, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, oil, clean coal, and natural gas.” After all, the committee explained, “a new era of cheap, abundant natural gas is helping to bring jobs and industry back to the United States,” so Democrats “will continue to advocate for use of this clean fossil fuel.” What happened?

“[T]his year each plank was exiled from the platform with nary a word of discussion,” says Harbert. “Blanket praise for the importance of natural gas as a job creator was replaced by blanket promises to restrict its production and use. This is a dramatic and troubling about-face. The shale revolution has lowered energy prices and fueled a renaissance in American manufacturing while improving our security by lowering dependence on foreign oil.” What this tells us is that leftists aren’t interested in finding solutions to so-called “climate change.” Instead, they’d rather keep moving the goal posts so that the climate issue can remain a priority for eternity. It’s politics at its worst.

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