Switching from coal to natural gas is smart
The Sept. 12 My View on natural gas versus coal in global warming contributions is factually incorrect. Electricity generation is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in this country. The burning of natural gas contributes only 30 percent to 40 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by coal. The conversion from coal to natural gas in many of our power plants is the largest single factor in an unexpected 12 percent reduction is U.S. carbon dioxide emissions since 2005, bringing us back to 1996 levels.
The economic recession made some contribution to this decline, as well as more energy-efficient cars, but conversion to natural gas is recognized in peer-reviewed data as the biggest contributor to this decline. Unfortunately, our decline is still being easily outstripped by coal-fired plants being built in great numbers in China and India (to name two nations), and world carbon dioxide levels are now at their highest in at least 800,000 years. Current projections on global warming impacts show this decline outweighs the potential contribution posed by the threat of methane leaks in the fracking and mining technologies. There is no scientific justification for the writer’s misstatements on this topic.