Fossil Free Energy Fair

Rather than a “bridge fuel” that may help us transition to a renewable energy future, some scientists argue that deep shale natural gas, now accessible using high volume, slickwater, horizontal “fracking,” is actually a “bridge to nowhere.” After billions of dollars are invested to build-out the shale gas infrastructure needed to incorporate this fuel into our energy grid, our society will need to re-invest even more untold billions to convert our energy grid all over again to renewables. Alternatively, there is a plan for New York State to bypass this “bridge to nowhere” and convert all of the state’s energy needs to renewables by 2030 using hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (thereby moving away from fossil-fuel combustion engines), hydroelectric power, wind, and solar technologies. While critics of the plan point out that windmills needed to pull off the plan will cover 13% of New York’s land mass, the build out of shale gas infrastructure in Pennsylvania is slated to cover 50% of the state in comparison! That includes estimates of 150,000 massive new “holes” (shale gas wells) permanently puncturing (and degrading) our groundwater aquifers. Additionally, converting to renewables is estimated to save New York billions of dollars in air pollution costs, not to mention protecting their most valuable resources, fertile land and clean water, forever.

If New York can do renewables on a large scale, why can’t Pennsylvania?

Fossil free charging made easy with a solar phone charger.

Fossil free charging made easy with a solar phone charger.

The renewable energy sector saw the greatest increase in power generation capacity in 2012, according to The Sustainable Energy in America 2013 Factbook. That means that above all other energy sources, such as coal and natural gas, renewables energy is  becoming increasingly efficient and affordable. Natural gas production and use has also increased, but there are many dangerous impacts from natural gas production that make it a poor choice for our sustainable energy future. The 2013 Factbook, published by Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, lumps natural gas in with “clean” energy. But while natural gas my burn cleaner than fuels like coal, the cradle-to-grave impacts of natural gas extraction, industrial waste disposal, processing, transmission, and distribution on our warming climate and communities makes natural gas anything but “clean.”

Fossil Free Flyer

Our Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project will be at the Fossil-free Energy Fair this Saturday, July 27th at Alameda Park in Butler, Pa. with several renewable energy providers, such as Zero Fossil from Munhall, Pa. One of Zero Fossil’s founders actually left the shale gas fracking industry to start up his own energy company, which of courses does not use any fossil fuels. Come visit them, us, and all the other vendors at the Fossil-free Energy Fair, hosted by Marcellus Outreach Butler, and see how it’s done! The Fair will take place “under cover” of a carousel roof and is therefore Rain or Shine!