LETTER: Natural gas hardly natural and bad for the environment

I hope there will be more people responding to the letter , in last weeks paper from MPP Todd Smith (Winding down White Pines, others saved $790 million, The Picton Gazette, Nov. 25, 2021) as he responds to a letter by Anthea Weese for the previous paper about installing natural gas into  Cherry Valley.

Natural gas  is a fossil fuel.  It emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.   It is not clean. It is about 50  per cent less damaging to the environment than   coal or oil fired power plants.  The combustion of natural gas produces a variety of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen oxides. “Natural”  gas  ( a very misleading name)  consists of hydrocarbons, like methane, propane, butane, plus many more.

The process to gather natural gas is hugely damaging to the environment, as wells are drilled into gas- bearing rock formation.  Heavy equipment required for clearing thousands of miles of forest, wetlands, riverbeds,  habitat,  and  Indigenous  territory , to install the pipelines, is anything but  green. Then there is the  process of treating , processing  and separating the    heavy  hydrocarbon  liquids (lowering the temperature to -200  degrees F. )

Next,  injection of the gas into underground storage, just another component in the overall  negative impact on the planet. We have the technology to go green. There are rooftop solar panels  today , for just one  example . This  can reduce or eliminate your electricity bill, increase the value of your home, and with the many  federal tax credits  it definitely makes  going solar  worth while.

The use of natural gas is not helping to solve the climate crisis.  Building new gas plants,  installing pipelines and ripping up the ground using equipment that is anything but environmentally friendly is not what anyone should be encouraging,  especially an elected  MPP that is supposed to be looking out for our best interests. Unfortunately,  the population of humans  continues to grow unsustainably,  increasing  the demand for more energy.

It is expected that energy usage will  increase by 50 per cent over the next 30 years, at this rate.  Every year   human activity  emits approximately 51 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the environment.  Cutting to net zero emissions has never been more important,  and it can be   accomplished , but not if we follow the lead of people such as MPP Smith.  Supporting the installation of gas lines  into Cherry Valley, or anywhere else, is supporting fossil fuel usage,  and is another backwards move initiated by  Mr. Smith.  No matter how hard he tries to smooth over his past mistakes, he is fooling only like minded deniers  like himself.

Tearing down wind farms or cancelling 758 green energy projects is not forgivable,  despite his attempt to hide behind the money savings he falsely claims.   The ongoing  expenses of  only one of these cancelled projects,  the White Pines Wind Farm in P.E.C. , will continue to add up every single day for at least another year and a half.  I expect it will surpass one hundred and fifty million dollars  in losses to the taxpayer   by June of 2023.  If Mr. Smith  was on my property last week when Cape Breton experienced record breaking  torrential rainfall, erosion  with roads washed out, and  wind gusts that could blow you down,  he  may have opened his eyes to the  dire situation we have created  and felt the impact of climate change for himself.  Mother Nature has had enough,   so brace yourself .

”Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn””..  We have seen nothing yet !!

Jen Ackerman

Pleasant Bay

Cape Breton N.S.