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Balderson pushing to designate natural gas a green, clean energy

As energy costs are rising, natural gas could help lower costs, according to Licking County's congressman.

Rep. Troy Balderson, R-Zanesville, announced at a Pataskala oil and gas well site Wednesday that he had introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to designate natural gas as a green and clean energy source.

"It is green. It is clean. And it is abundantly right underneath our feet right here in Ohio," he said. 

George Brown, executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program said Ohio has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 37% over the last decade thanks to the conversion to natural gas electric generation.

Balderson, who represents Ohio's 12th U.S. congressional seat, said natural gas will save families money and protects the country's safety and energy independence.

"At a time when energy prices across the board are headed upward, consumers need affordability," he said. "Unleashing America’s abundant natural gas is the solution to affordable energy, a cleaner environment and securing American energy independence now."

Balderson said he supports all approaches to meeting the country's and state's energy needs, but that renewable sources such as solar and wind are not ready to be the only sources available.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, while natural gas results in fewer emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide than burning coal or petroleum products, the production and use of natural gas still has environmental and safety issues to consider.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, is one method used to produce natural gas that if mismanaged could release potentially hazardous chemicals and contaminate surrounding areas, according to the EIA.

Brown said that according to JobsOhio and Cleveland State University, Ohio's natural gas economy has invested $93 billion in Ohio since 2012 and resulted in 208,000 jobs in the industry.

As the Intel Corporation is planning its $20 billion computer chip factory south of Johnstown, the company has said the facility will emit no greenhouse gases by 2040 and run exclusively on renewable electricity by 2030. But Balderson said he is encouraging Intel to look into using natural gas as an energy source.

"We want Intel to use Licking County green energy, Ohio green energy and this country's green energy," he said. 

Click here to view the original story published by the Newark Advocate. 

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