The Sierra Club Comes Out in Favor of the U.S. Natural Gas Industry, Reports Oil and Gas Investor Magazine

Mar 04, 2008, 00:00 ET from Hart Energy Publishing

    HOUSTON, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sierra Club has come out for the
 U.S. natural gas industry, reports Oil and Gas Investor magazine. And, not
 for imported natural gas: it favors producing all that the U.S. can put
 out. That is because the Sierra Club would also like to see U.S. energy
 independence, says Carl Pope, executive director.
     Pope visited with industry leaders in Houston recently and spoke to Oil
 and Gas Investor magazine, a publication of Hart Energy Publishing LP, on
 new ground on which the Sierra Club and the U.S. natural gas industry can
 agree-natural gas is a cleaner fuel than coal.
     Oil and Gas Investor is a Neal Award-winning, 27-year-old publication
 that focuses on finance and business management of the upstream oil and gas
 industry. The video interview with Pope can be viewed at, along with a transcript of his comments.
     The Sierra Club is so opposed to coal as a fuel source that it has come
 out in support of U.S. natural gas, according to Pope's comments. It still
 favors renewable fuels-solar and wind-more than fossil fuels, but among
 fossil fuels, it favors natural gas, Pope says.
     "Among the fossil fuels, natural gas is at the top," says Pope, who
 became executive director of the roughly 700,000-member organization in
 1992 and has seen some 150,000 members added during that time. Pope has
 been on the Sierra Club staff for some 30 years.
     In second place, by the Sierra Club's score, among fossil fuels: crude
 oil. In last place: coal.
     Does the Sierra Club support natural gas -- but imported natural gas?
 Pope told Oil and Gas Investor, "There's a lot of opportunity -- people in
 the natural gas industry tell me -- to produce more natural gas
 domestically by using new technologies, and we're in favor of that."
     The industry gathering at which Pope made his remarks included Aubrey
 McClendon, chairman and chief executive of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake
 Energy Corp., and a Top 5 U.S. gas reserves-holder. Less than 10% of
 Chesapeake's production is oil, and 100% of Chesapeake's targeted long-term
 production is natural gas.
     McClendon became vociferous in 2007 against the coal industry, prompted
 by a Texas electric-power producer's plan to build more than a dozen new
 coal-powered plants, and is the founder and chairman of American Clean
 Skies Foundation, a public-education and political lobbying organization
 that argues for non-polluting fuel sources, including natural gas.
     The Sierra Club has been well known in the oil and gas industry as
 taking a contrarian view of energy policy on the ground -- contrarian to
 that of the oil and gas industry. The organization is now taking policy to
 the air -- air quality, that is -- and sees eye-to-eye with the U.S.
 natural gas industry -- at least. Natural gas is a winner within the
 organization; crude oil remains out.
     Pope says of endorsing a presidential candidate, "We may take a stand,
 but we have not yet taken a stand. We are still reviewing all of the
 candidates. We're still trying to raise the bar and encourage all of the
 candidates in both parties to be really visionary. We think the energy
 economy of the 21st century looks dramatically different than the energy
 economy of the 20th century, and we're looking for a presidential candidate
 who, in his or her core, gets that, and we haven't chosen one yet."
     He concludes about energy use in this century, "We need to have
 high-performance energy tools, not 20th century energy laggards."
     For more information on the Sierra Club's support of the U.S. natural
 gas industry, contact Nissa Darbonne, Investor's executive editor, at (713)
 260-6429 or
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SOURCE Hart Energy Publishing