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Environmentalists have become more extreme over the years and it is now becoming a major problem for the economy.
Real Clear Energy wrote an interesting paragraph about the founder of Greenpeace and his views of modern environmentalists:
“As Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, explains, the ‘80s ushered in the age of environmental extremism. The basic issues, for which he and Greenpeace fought, had largely been accomplished, and the general public was in agreement with the primary message. In order for the environmentalists to remain employed, they had to adopt ever more extreme positions. Moore says: "What happened is environmental extremism. They've abandoned science and logic altogether." Their message today is "anti:" anti-human, anti-science, anti-technology, anti-trade and globalization, anti-business and capitalism, and ultimately, anti-civilization.”
Related article: Politics Still Rules the Climate Change Debate in the US
As Moore puts it, environmentalists no longer just try and protect the environment, they are now hindering humanities development. They have changed from pro-green, to anti-everything.
An example is the US economy, which suffers a few problems such as, a lack of well-paid jobs, low revenue, and a lop-sided trade balance. Now, each of these three points could be easily solved with increased coal mining, exporting natural gas as LNG, and building the Keystone XL pipeline, but opposition provided by the environmentalists prevents this.
The US has the world’s largest recoverable reserves of coal, yet due to pressure from green organisations the government has set policies that severely restrict the growth of the mining industry.
Bill Bissett, the President of Kentucky Coal Association, remarked that the “industry is accustomed to market fluctuations and competition with other fuel sources, but having a federal government place additional regulations on one geographic region (Eastern KY and WV) and one industry (coal mining) is absolutely unfair.”
Natural gas actually used to be favoured by environmentalists as a low carbon fuel source, and a step in the right direction to weaning the country off polluting coal. That was until the shale boom led to natural gas becoming too abundant, and too cheap. Natural gas is now a threat to clean energy, as it attracts investment that might have otherwise gone to clean energy sources.
Related article: Exxon Oil Spill in Arkansas, Keystone Spoiler?
A recent HIS Global Insight report stated that LNG exports would “result in the creation of over 100,000 direct, indirect, and economy wide jobs and have an immediate economic impact resulting in $3.6 to $5.2 billion in potential annual revenues.”
Environmentalists have fought the decision to turn shale gas into LNG for export around to more profitable markets around the world, another act that hurts the US economy.
Possibly the biggest casualty of environmental action has been the Keystone XL, which has been attacked for years, and looks ever more likely to be abandoned, costing the US thousands of potential jobs, and millions in additional revenue.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com