Opposition to pipeline uninformed, financially unwise


Carol Terryberry

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Imagine if you could prevent 100 percent of deaths from car accidents, simply by restricting all vehicles to speeds of 5 mph or less. While it would be effective, the ensuing total economic collapse would cause significantly more death and destruction.

Similarly, what if you could prevent all global warming by ceasing the use of fossil fuels? Again, the economic collapse would be deadly. But here is where the analogy breaks down, because climate change is a complex science, as temperatures have cycled and fluctuated throughout history. Although many scientists agree that warming is taking place, they disagree on its significance, causation and solution.

Climate change models during the President Obama era were found to be inaccurate and politicized, according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology climatologist Richard Lindzen. Obama's Clean Power Plan raised energy costs for all Americans and mitigated a mere few hundredths of a degree Celsius warming by 2100. His own climatologist, James Hansen, called the plan "practically worthless."

According to the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change, developed with support from the EPA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Paris Climate Agreement would have cost between $1 trillion and $2 trillion — mostly to the U.S. — annually, while reducing temperature by 0.023 degrees Fahrenheit by 2030. In fact, according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if the U.S. cut 100 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions, global temperatures would drop by less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius by 2100. The entire industrialized world could cut carbon emissions down to zero, and the reduction would still be less than four-tenths of a degree Celsius by 2100, a cost-benefit analysis that only a government bureaucrat spending other people's money could allow.

Your recent article citing the Elizabeth City's refusal to approve the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which is proposed to be to the north and to the west of us, was both shocking and infuriating. Although City Manager Rich Olson correctly cited the pipeline's substantial job creation, significant energy cost reduction, industrial growth and attraction, and the relative cleanness of natural gas, the vote was never even seconded. Did anyone bother to fact-check the progressive (think anti-capitalist socialist) who raised fears of global warming? Pipelines, according to Obama's own state department, are environmentally safe and do not contribute in any way to global warming. Natural gas is cleaner than coal, which currently powers much of America, and is exponentially more effective than renewable sources. Solar has cost $150 billion in taxpayer subsidies, but currently provides a mere one percent of our energy, according eia.gov. Wind power is an imperfect and very expensive substitute for conventional electricity. Both wind and solar are not only heavily subsidized by taxpayers, but require conventional energy sources to prop them up.

Nearly all goods and services Americans engage in — schools, hospitals, grocery stores, transportation, and manufacturing — depend on affordable, reliable energy. Eastern North Carolina has enough impediments to growth (lack of industry, confiscatory electricity costs) without making uninformed, financially unwise decisions as a symbolic gesture. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would lead to regional job creation, cheaper energy and decreased cost to businesses which can then invest and expand. This issue has nothing to do with supporting "big oil" or fighting global warming.

Approving the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is good policy which can release eastern North Carolina from perpetual mediocrity.

Carol Terryberry

Elizabeth City