John J.W. Rogers’ Nov. 7 Point of View article (“Don’t get burned in the natural gas market”) cautioned us to be wary of speculating on this hot energy resource. He commented that natural gas is a good fuel because it is less polluting than coal and oil but also described the many factors that can influence gas pricing in the marketplace.
He did not mention, as was reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration this summer, that the use of cleaner burning natural gas has been credited with helping to lower overall CO emissions in this country. This news is interesting, although not surprising, in that it strongly ties consumer attitudes towards fuels to the price of those fuels. We will avoid dirtier energy sources if they take more money from our wallets.
I think Rogers is right in his advice not to gamble on natural gas prices, but if we implement a carbon tax on fossil fuels at their source and pass the proceeds on to all Americans we can forget about this risk altogether. Cleaner, alternative energy sources can compete for investors dollars with a carbon tax in place. Let’s stop speculating and start solving our environmental and energy problems.