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‘Let the best fuel win,” says energy expert Robert Bryce

Speaking at the fourth annual Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference here prior to the Great American Trucking Show, Bryce set about to explode and expose “green fuel myths” espoused by what he called the “media darlings.” (The Trucker DOROTHY COX)

By DOROTHY COX
The Trucker News Services

8/22/2013

DALLAS “It’s the top of the second inning,” said author, journalist and energy expert Robert Bryce, and “horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked galaxies of natural gas,” putting t the U.S. in a 21-run lead in the energy ballgame with the rest of the world pretty much sitting at zilch.

The shale fuel industry could add more than 1 million new jobs, he added, and will provide freight for trucks to haul the steel, sand, water and equipment needed to extract the fuel, he said.

Speaking at the fourth annual Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference here prior to the Great American Trucking Show, Bryce set about to explode and expose “green fuel myths” espoused by what he called the “media darlings.”

Calling it the “big fib,” Bryce said the idea that renewable resources such as wind and solar can meet the planet’s energy needs is neither possible nor realistic.

As just one example he said using wind to replace a coal plant would take an area full of wind turbines “the size of Italy” and that no one could live in the area.

He said fuel from shale or the “shale gale,” is the most important energy development since the 1930s oil fields.

And more importantly, the U.S. has the technology know-how to get it out of the ground, he said. But he countered statements made earlier Wednesday by oilman T. Boone Pickens that natural gas could come close to eradicating America’s dependence on foreign oil. It can only reduce foreign oil dependence, he said, not end it.

Bryce also championed the use of coal and nuclear energy, which he said is far less dangerous than the media has portrayed.

He said one of the downsides not mentioned with the use of natural gas is the huge amount of water needed in fracking when some areas of the U.S. are struggling with water shortages.

Another downside, he said, are the thousands of truck trips through people’s lands bringing water to fracking sites, creating dust, traffic, noise and other inconveniences.

Playing devil’s advocate, Dr. Kennon Guglielmo, chief technical officer of Enovation Controls, asked Bryce why, if the infrastructure is rapidly coming online for use of natural gas for heavy-duty trucking and if the cost of natural gas is lower than diesel and if tank weight problems are being solved onboard HD trucks why wasn’t natural gas being embraced across the board?

“Tradition”, said Bryce, and the fact that natural gas is “not as ubiquitous as diesel.”

He said unlike Pickens, who wanted the U.S. to come up with an “energy plan,” he believed that would make little difference in natural gas development.

“Let the best fuel win,” he said.