Climate Activists Warn Obama About His Pro-Gas Views

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
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President Barack Obama 
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages

Even though President Barack Obama has been getting tough on power plants to push them to cut back on their carbon dioxide emissions, his administration supports the extraction of natural gas, and environmental groups are warning him to fix that blemish on his climate legacy, Al-Jazeera reports.

Climate experts are saying that contrary to the Obama administration’s belief, natural gas can be just as hard on the earth’s atmosphere.

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“That’s because a growing body of scientific evidence […] shows gas development produces significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide,” the news site explains.

Environmentalists will make their concerns loud and clear at the People’s Climate March on Sept. 21 in New York City. They say that the president had it wrong when he said how natural gas, “if extracted safely,” can get the job done of powering the economy “with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change” in his State of the Union address earlier this year.

Climate experts hope that the president will entertain the role that renewable energy can play, instead of natural gas.

Despite the disagreements over strategy, Obama is an active participant in conversations about climate change. Environmental groups don’t take his engagement with these sorts of issues for granted, since he “has pushed hard to bring a dialogue about climate change to the forefront of U.S. politics in a way no president before him has,” the report said.

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“The question is not whether we need to act [on climate change],” the president said in a speech in June. “The question is whether we have the will to act before it’s too late.”

Even though Obama is being mindful about the earth, Ithaca College science professor Sandra Steingraber says his method is not a long-term solution. “It’s not a bridge. It’s a treadmill,” Steingraber said. “It remains to be seen if gas is slightly better or slightly worse than coal, but either way, it’s not better enough. We’re still going off a climate cliff.”

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Read more at Al-Jazeera.

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