Natural Gas Impact

1462 Words 6 Pages
However, natural gas is not a renewable or sustainable resource either. It also emits a decent amount of emissions. “Natural gas is composed primarily of methane (CH4) – a very potent greenhouse gas. During various steps of natural gas extraction, transportation, and processing, methane is released to the atmosphere” (“Natural Gas” n.d.). While most people focus on carbon dioxide when it comes to global warming and emissions, methane is actually “the second largest overall human generated contributor to global warming” (Jorgenson 2006, 1779). Even though it may emit less emissions than coal, natural gas is still quite damaging and has a large impact on global warming. Since drilling for natural gas has been going on for quite a long time, …show more content…
If biofuels become more popular, more organic material will needed; if this organic material happens to be crops, then land will be needed (Ibid). This land will have to cleared and plowed in order to be suitable for growing. Clearing and plowing of the land will be done with machines that more than likely use fuel sources with high emissions. Also, trees may be cut down in order to clear the land. Thus, oxygen levels are lowered and carbon dioxide levels will rise. Back to the crops, more crops means more fertilizer. More fertilizer not only means more emissions but also more non-point source pollution. The question with biofuels then become do the costs outweigh the benefits. Right now, for power plants, that answer is no. The technology is still quite new and many plants are do not have the necessary equipment or technology to burn biofuels. As mentioned earlier, the T.B. Simon Power Plant can only burn a very small amount in one of six units. Therefore, in order to burn biofuels at an efficient level, a majority of power plants would have to either be redesigned or have additional units added. Both of these options could be quite expensive and most companies are not willing to pay for this when there are cheaper options …show more content…
This is why the transition from coal to natural gas is a big step. While it may not be the perfect solution, it is a step in the right direction. Eventually, through the advancement of technology and research, power plants will be able to use a renewable resource with fewer emissions for their fuel source; it just takes time. This has been proven through history. Changing from wood to coal to natural gas and possibly biofuels, companies are headed in the correct direction. Even though it may be more expensive, the price is worth it because as energy needs grow: so do the emissions. If large companies/institutions (like MSU) do not start taking steps to become more eco-friendly, the consequences will be great. The T.B. Simon Power Plant has been burning coal since its inception in 1965 and now by the end of 2016 it will be almost exclusively, natural gas. MSU is entering a new chapter in their energy history. Someday in the future, the T.B. Simon Power Plant will more than likely enter a new chapter of changing from natural gas to a renewable fuel source like biofuels, but for now: people can say goodbye to coal and their high emissions and look forward to a new era. Other companies have, are and will follow suit. With these changes, people are creating a more sustainable

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