Baby Steps Toward Renewable Energy

The coal industry took a big hit the other day when the EPA had released that carbon dioxide levels are at the lowest they have been in over 20 years. This is attributed to the rise of natural gas, solar, and wind technologies which have grown to the point where coal is no longer the leading source of energy for electricity.

Natural gas has taken the place of coal as the leading source of energy for electricity in America. Though this is good news to an extent, there are new issues that are caused by the use of natural gas. The biggest, and most controversial is fracking. We all have seen the anti-fracking signs. Many have seen the documentary “Gasland”. There is no debate, or at least there should be no debate as to whether hydraulic fracturing is not environmentally sound.

Graphic: Granberg/ProPublica

Hydraulic fracturing is a method in which is used to extract natural gas deposits from shale. A drill is used to tunnel deep within the shale deposits followed by chemicals in which are pushed through under heavy pressure which actually causes fractures in shale which contains the natural gas. There are many environmental effects caused by fracturing, such as natural gas seeping into ground water, chemical runoff leaving fields, which were once fertile and produced plentiful crops, dead or toxic.

There has been great improvements and steps in the right direction, but there is a lot more walking to do. Though we’re moving past coal, which is 100 years behind the times, technologically, there is still a lot of progress that needs to be made. Solar, wind, and hydroelectric are all true sustainable and renewable resources. There have been great advances in the technologies and jobs being created. It is a slow process, but with the right support, it will grow quickly.

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