Arctic Oil/Gas Neg


*** Energy Efficiency Trade Off



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*** Energy Efficiency Trade Off

Energy Efficiency DA

Link – Natural gas trades off with energy efficiency and alternative fuels


Holmes 12

Jamie Nov 15, slate “The natural gas myth” http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_efficient_planet/2012/11/cheap_natural_gas_doesn_t_mean_we_should_stop_investing_in_alternative_energy.html

There’s a pernicious argument being made against energy efficiency, and it goes like this. Last winter was one of the warmest on record, so people had to spend less to heat their homes and businesses. That, combined with a “drilling binge ” in shale gas and new production, made for record low natural gas in prices in April, at less than $2 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). This phenomenon has boosted the U.S. economy to the tune of more than$ 100 billion annually, by one estimate. With such low prices, the thinking goes, investments in alternative energy and energy efficiency don’t make sense. “All bets are off for the future of energy in the United States and, indeed, the world, as the price of natural gas plummets to ever-lower values,” the University of Virginia’s S. Fred Singer wrote in the American Thinker last spring. Singer even speculated that “cheap gas will completely remove the need for electricity generated by solar or wind.” In August, a Deloitte study found that current low prices were making many energy efficiency projects less attractive, since it would take too long to show a return on investment. Indeed, in a “fact sheet” shared recently with Ohio state legislators, the utility FirstEnergy argued that the current energy efficiency mandates don’t make sense anymore. The landscape has “radically changed,” and with the discovery of shale gas resources and low energy prices, “the factors driving the mandates no longer exist.” In Nebraska, one of the worst states in the country for energy efficiency standards, the CEO of the Loup River Public Power District offered the same basic argument last month.

Solves the case better


Holmes 12

Jamie Nov 15, slate “The natural gas myth” http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_efficient_planet/2012/11/cheap_natural_gas_doesn_t_mean_we_should_stop_investing_in_alternative_energy.html

More generally, natural gas prices tend to be very volatile. Since energy efficiency measures help lower the demand for electricity, they can help protect companies against price volatility while maintaining the reliability of the electrical grid. Specifically, these measures include reducing electricity consumption, thereby reducing the amount of natural gas used to generate electricity, as well as gas-targeted efficiency programs that directly reduce the end-use of gas for consumers. “Energy efficiency is a 10-, 20-, 30-year investment,” ACEEE’s Neal Elliot, co-author on the white paper, says. “Prices will go up, prices will do down.” He pointed to a statement from James Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, on the importance of investing in a range of energy options. “Ben Franklin said there are two certainties in life: death and taxes,“ Rogers said. “To that, I would add the price volatility of natural gas.” Natural gas prices are far more volatile than that of oil prices, making energy efficiency an especially useful bulwark against price instability. And, of course, there are more obvious benefits: Efficiency lowers customers’ utility bills, it’s better for the environment, it creates jobs, and it encourages long-term economic investment.

Solves the case – just expanding nat gas increases costs for development


Young 12

Rachel ACEEE in 2011. She conducts research for the Federal Policy Program on air regulations, natural gas, and the water-energy nexus and assists the executive team. Prior to joining ACEEE, Rachel held a Climate and Energy research fellowship position at The Breakthrough Institute in the summer of 2010 and an activist fellowship position with Avazz.org in the summer of 2009. Sept 18 “Energy Efficiency Looks Beyond the Natural Gas Boom” http://theenergycollective.com/rachel-young/113776/energy-efficiency-looks-beyond-natural-gas-boom



Natural gas has been a historically volatile fuel, vulnerable to storage and distribution constraints, and accidents and production disruptions. New fracking regulations and an anticipated increase in natural gas exports are adding to the risk factors. Deploying energy efficiency measures lowers the demand for natural gas, which in turn reduces the threat of future price volatility, helps prevent natural gas price spikes, and assists in maintaining electrical grid reliability. Efficiency lessens a utility’s exposure to fuel price volatility by diversifying energy resources across multiple small and moderate-sized projects. Efficiency also reduces the need to deploy peaking generation resources, which prevents outages by lessening the load and stress of the power distribution network. Energy efficiency can significantly cut into the demand for natural gas in the power sector and lessen the need for construction of new natural gas power plants. New natural gas power plants require a large upfront investment and take time to come online; costs are transferred to ratepayers. Since energy efficiency is still the most cost-effective resource compared to new combined-cycle natural gas plants, energy efficiency should be deployed by states as the first measure to prevent costly construction of new natural gas plants thereby saving ratepayers money. And while natural gas is a less dirty fossil fuel with nearly half the emissions compared to coal, natural gas still emits pollutants. Energy efficiency is a zero emission energy resource. Though the United States has made progress advancing energy efficiency, there is still an abundance of untapped energy efficiency resources available. States should make investments in energy efficiency measures first before undertaking expensive fuel switching projects. Doing so will increase stability in the electricity and natural gas sectors creates jobs, lower customer utility bills, reduce pollution, and extend the available supply of natural gas.

AT: Energy Efficiency

Alt cause – regulations


Holmes 12

Jamie Nov 15, slate “The natural gas myth” http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_efficient_planet/2012/11/cheap_natural_gas_doesn_t_mean_we_should_stop_investing_in_alternative_energy.html



The real thorny issue with energy efficiency isn’t low natural gas prices, but the regulatory barriers keeping utility companies from making investments that would lower what their customers pay. Under traditional regulatory models of utility rates, a utility that spends money to reduce energy use for its customers ends up … losing money. If you make more money by producing more energy, why would you work to produce less energy and make less money?


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