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The National Resources Defense Council claims that cries about a national gas crisis are phony and are used only as an excuse to destroy the environment to get fuel. They could not be more wrong.

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No Natural Gas Crisis?

The National Resources Defense Council claims that cries about a national gas crisis are phony and are used only as an excuse to destroy the environment to get fuel. They could not be more wrong.

What are the causes of the nation’s natural gas crisis?

The answer depends on whether one believes there’s a crisis at all: in dismissing just about every expert who follows the issue, including Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, NRDC says all this talk of crisis is bogus, merely an “excuse to attack environmental safeguards on extracting and burning fuel.” NRDC’s energy experts go on to say that exploring “federal areas in search of fuel is not the answer,” despite the fact that, of the remaining 975 trillion cubic feet of natural gas likely to be found in the U.S., nearly 59 percent is under federal lands. All of this nonsense could go away if everyone would just listen to NRDC and implement, as the group advised, a “California-style public education campaign” to encourage energy efficiency–the same campaign launched when California suffered rolling blackouts, caused by the state’s self-inflicted energy supply shortages.

FACT: Following California’s lead is not exactly sound advice. There is a serious natural gas crisis, and it can be traced in large part to lawsuits filed by NRDC and its extremist allies, who have blocked natural gas production on federal lands for years.

In January, Peter Morton, of the Wilderness Society, warned energy companies that environmental groups will sue them if they try to obtain leases allowing energy production on federal lands. Fed Chairman Greenspan, during last week’s Senate Energy Committee hearing, candidly discussed the consequences of Big Green obstruction: “I do say this: I say that it is essential that one recognizes what the cost in energy policy is if you restrict the access to certain areas where preliminary seismic analysis has indicated very significant capabilities in gas.”

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Written By

Mr. Catanzaro is Communications Director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

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