As Democrats from across the country descend on Philadelphia, it can be expected that a fair amount of discussion will occur over the coming days about energy in America. It appears that the election-year discussion about energy will be different because energy independence is no longer a dream, but is becoming more possible by the day due to increases in domestic energy development. In Pennsylvania, the Marcellus and Utica shale formations have played an important role to ensure less reliance on foreign sources. They have also helped Pennsylvania become the second largest natural gas producing state.
While great strides have been made, it is unfortunate that some wish to end this progress. Yesterday, a contingent of activists opposed to domestic energy production marched in the streets of Philadelphia calling for an end to energy development. According to a story in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer, the purpose of the march was to keep “fossil fuels in the ground.”
These activists support an end to nearly all forms of energy we rely on today without any acknowledgement of the impact that would have on everyday life. Many households in Pennsylvania rely on gas as their primary source of energy for heat in the winter time. Natural gas is a clean-burning form of energy, which makes it a good alternative to some others; however this rational thinking about our energy economy falls on deaf ears with some. For the activists in the streets of Philly, renewables are their suggested alternative. At 4% of Pennsylvania’s energy mix, that is not an alternative based on realistic logic.
Looking at pictures of the protestors in the streets begs the question of whether they understand what they are truly advocating for. It is assumed that they did not travel from the far reaches of the country to Philadelphia by foot or bike and even those attending from Pennsylvania could reserve a seat on a bus. Whether they travelled by bus or by plane or even just car, all three of those modes of transportation require diesel fuel or gasoline. Additionally, many people were seen carrying handmade posters with messages, which would have been produced thanks to energy products. Some of the products that can be viewed from yesterday’s march, which are produced from energy products include:
- Sun Glasses
- Hair Coloring
What must be acknowledged is how much energy resources are involved in our everyday lives. It is not clear that the activists who flooded Philadelphia with an anti-progress message yesterday understand this reality. The development of energy pipeline infrastructure is necessary to ensure that energy products developed domestically can safely and efficiently be transported to consumers.