South Africa’s Fracking Moratorium Leads To New Coal Plants & Rising CO2 Emissions

With fracking stopped and gas locked under ground, coal is being used to meet South Africa’s energy needs. Indeed, coal power plants generate about 90% of South Africa’s electricity today and may well continue to do so.

“Fracking Debate Wracks South Africa” was the headline in yesterday’s WSJ article by Devon Maylie. Maylie reports that environmentalists won a moratorium in April 2010 on fracking in South Africa, and the nation is building two new coal plants to help close a gap between electricity demand and supply.

Saying no to gas means saying yes to coal and oil in South Africa, America, and around the world. And what’s the carbon result? The carbon emissions from South Africa’s new coal plants will be more than twice what they would be had the plants run on gas.

One needs not read any further to understand why the world is loading its atmosphere with record amounts of carbon dioxide, with the exception of America, where massive new gas production is slashing carbon pollution. Yet, in the minds of some, banning or stalling gas development is a victory for the environment.

South Africa has potentially 486 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. That is a huge amount, roughly similar to the Marcellus gas reserve, and would be enough to power South Africa for a couple hundred years.


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4 responses to “South Africa’s Fracking Moratorium Leads To New Coal Plants & Rising CO2 Emissions

  1. It is truly amazing how quickly environmentalists can shift the focus of fear they use to push their agenda and how quickly their followers simply forget the last fear and embrace the new one. Now fracking is going to kill us all so it’s okay to use dirty, filthy coal for power. Same thing happened in Germany–they were burning lignite……Fear, it’s a wonderful thing.

  2. I smell a big rat here… follow the money. We’ve had instances of the coal and gas industries sniping at each other via the environuts.

  3. So what?? CO2 is GOOOOOD for the planet!!

    The lower cost for the gas would have been better for their economy though!!

    • Coach Springer

      Gas isn’t always cheapest. Especially compared to coal. But increase the overall suppy of both energy sources and you’re cooking with gas (and coal).

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