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CPBJ Extra Blog

What's wrong with targeting leakage? Let innovation ring

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StateImpact Pennsylvania reported controversy last week over whether a study looking at the possible impacts of leaking natural gas should be included in a state study on climate change.

A little "he said" here, and a little "she said" there, about the debated study.

In the end, it does sound as if stakeholders want to fight the battle over what to do about the alleged problem before anyone even gets to the point of making policy.

And I can see why, considering the study points to leaks negating the climate-change advantages often attributed to increasing natural gas in the mix of fuels we use to power our lives.

But don't forget who the true problem-solvers are in our economy: innovative entrepreneurs. If there is a problem and a market for solving it, they leap to action.

In this case, I see a win-win. Companies can benefit from spurred innovation by retaining more gas for sale, which I would presume would raise top- and bottom-line numbers, while less methane going into the atmosphere would be viewed as a win toward preventing the planet from getting warmer.

So let's not extend government-sponsored uncertainty into a realm where the entrepreneurial class isn't fully energized because we can't even agree where a potential problem might exist.

Throw out all the facts and opinions, and let the market respond.

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