Environmentalists object to growth of petrochemical business

AP/Fuel Fix:
The nation’s boom in cheap natural gas — often viewed as a clean energy source — is spawning a wave of petrochemical plants that, if built, will emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases, an environmental watchdog group warned in a report Monday.

The Washington-based Environmental Integrity Project said hydraulic fracturing of shale rock formations and other advances, such as horizontal drilling, have made natural gas cheap and plentiful — so plentiful that the United States has begun exporting gas.

The watchdog nonprofit, which says its mission is to hold polluters accountable and champion environmental laws, is led by Eric Schaeffer, former director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Enforcement.

Thanks to this energy boom, the group calculated that if 44 large-scale petrochemical developments proposed or permitted in 2015 were built they would spew as much pollution as 19 new coal-fired power plants would.

The report said all these projects potentially could pump about 86 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year. That would be an increase of 16 percent for the industry’s emissions in 2014, the report found.

The report combined new natural gas, fertilizer and chemical plants and petroleum refinery expansions projects. Natural gas is a prime ingredient in ammonia, a basic element in fertilizers.
You can't create plastics and fertilizer with solar panels and windmills. You can't manufacture cars without steel, aluminum and plastics.  None of those things can be created with a windmill or a solar panel.  More and more it appears that environmentalists are at war with modernity.  But they would not be happy with a return to the pre-industrial age, where most things were made with wood either.

It is not like more of the products from petrochemicals are actually adding to pollution, it is just that most of the new facilities are creating jobs in the US rather than in Asia.


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