Whatever happened to the romance between the environmental lobby and natural gas? After years of basking in a green glow as the cleanest fossil fuel and a favorite short-term choice to replace cheap-but-dirty coal, gas now finds itself under attack from environmentalists, filmmakers and congressional Democrats — and even from some scientists who raise doubts about whether its total emissions are as climate-friendly as commonly believed.
Case in point: the Sierra Club, whose former executive director, Carl Pope, has spoken warmly in recent years about gas as an alternative to coal in power plants. Now, the group is considering calling for natural gas to be phased out by 2050 — about 20 years after it wants coal eliminated. Sierra Club Deputy Executive Director Bruce Hamilton says he and other Sierra Club leaders are "trying to be clearer in our communication. ... We want people to know that natural gas is not a clean fuel and it needs to be cleaned up before it can be an acceptable fuel." (Read more)