Updated: Apr 8, 2022
Originally Published in the Citizen's Voice 2/1/2022
Editor: The proposed methane-to-gasoline refinery is a false solution to our need to reduce greenhouse gasses. Nacero’s plan does not account for all the environmental costs of continuing to frack for gas or for the costs of transporting “renewable” methane.
It is to be expected that the lion’s share of methane for the Nacero refinery will be from new fracking wells. These wells remove water forever from the hydrologic cycle, produce large volumes of toxic waste for which there are inadequate plans for disposal and spill methane into the atmosphere. These methane emissions are not accounted for in the permitted releases from the proposed refinery.
When the Nacero gasoline is burned it will inevitably add carbon dioxide and other pollutants to the air.
As was recently dramatically shown by the collapse of a bridge on a county road in Pittsburgh, there is a great need for construction work throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Rebuilding bridges is done by local union laborers. Many groups are reclaiming former coal sites, turning them into productive lands, green space and retail and office places . Old mines do not have to be covered up by industrial parks that produce and release harmful emissions which will compromise the health of area residents.
A greener solution than making gasoline would be to burn methane in an electricity generating station and place more EV charging stations. Increasing electric vehicle use of all kinds will quickly reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants like ozone. which have significant negative health effects.
I agree that we want to move toward abundant affordable energy, with good jobs that do not expose workers to toxins and innovation is needed to get there. Nevertheless, Nacero’s methane-to-gasoline refinery is a step in the wrong direction.