Why Are we Fixated on Natural Gas?

Why Are we Fixated on Natural Gas?

Often touted as the cleanest (and least expensive) fossil fuel, natural gas continues its popularity streak in the province while other jurisdictions move to ban it.

Natural gas expansion proceeds in Ontario with kilometres of pipeline being laid in Grey-Bruce. In mid-December, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP and Associate Minister of Energy Bill Walker said the new expansion opportunities for natural gas are a “game-changer” for local businesses. While natural gas does lower energy expenses in the short-term, the use of it to heat buildings is widely identified as one of two key areas of GHG emission growth in Ontario, the other being transportation (eco.auditor.on.ca, October 2018). Yes, we can rely on natural gas for the time being, but is it the best way forward?

Reports that Vancouver will be the first major Canadian city to ban the fuel have been circulating for a few years, and some American cities have already made the move. This has primarily been in California, though Brookline, Massachusetts has also banned new gas hookups.

Gas has been advertised as this kind of bridge fuel, but we’re at a point where we don’t need a bridge [to renewable energy] — we need to adopt some of these renewable resources,” said Emma Searson, Go Solar campaign manager with Environment America. “We’re at the point where we can actually imagine not using fossil fuels in the home. –Irana Ivanova, cbcnews.com, December 2019

At Blackline Power, people with electric heat and either air-source or geo-thermal heat pumps are regular clients. We also advise new home builders to go electric as much as possible because 1) it can be offset by solar and 2) the use of fossil fuels will be increasingly subjected to carbon taxes. Finally, if corporations like Shell are striving to be net-zero by 2050, despite financial pressures from the Covid pandemic, it’s time for all of us to wake up to the new green reality.

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