This week, Governor David Paterson of New York released his energy plan. As expected, the plan centered around the idea of creating greener energy sources and green collar jobs.
What wasn’t expected was the main thrust of his plan: “to tap environmentally sensitive natural gas” to build a “clean energy economy”.
Governor Paterson’s plan is to explore tapping the natural gas resources in the Marcellus Shale (another huge find that almost rivals the Haynesville Shale). This is huge turnaround for the state of New York and its energy policy. As well, it’s a tremendous boost for the idea of natural gas over cheaper and dirtier coal. More importantly, this is a pragmatic approach to how we will achieve a clean energy future. With a state like New York advocating natural gas as a cleaner fuel, more states will ultimately follow in their path.
What does it mean when other states follow New York in advocating natural gas as a necessary stepping stone to a clean energy future? It means that we, as a nation, may finally be inching towards an energy future that is bereft of coal. It also means that we are starting to be realistic about a renewable energy future.
Solar and wind need time to develop and come down in cost. The only way to buy these energy sources time is to find a cleaner “bridge” fuel. With New York leading the way with natural gas as fuel source, we could finally see a light at the end of the green energy tunnel. It will be interesting to see what Governor Paterson’s plan yields, and if the public can get behind an energy source that will secure a cleaner and brighter energy future.