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Brown Calls for Curbs on the Use of Natural Gas

His Newspaper Piece Predicts 'Debilitating Effects'

Chemical Engineering Prof. Gilbert Brown

01/25/2006
By For more information, contact media@uml.edu or 978-934-3224

UMass Lowell Engineering Prof. Gilbert Brown, in an op-ed piece in the Springfield Sunday Republican last November, minced no words in his cry for a change in the priorities of the energy industry in its dealings with natural gas.

“There isn’t enough affordable [natural] gas to go around, not with utilities competing with homeowners, businesses and industries for the same limited supply of this premium fuel,” Brown wroteߞ;adding that “an incredible 98 percent of all new electric-power capacity built over the last 10 years in the United States burns gas [as opposed to coal or oil].”

Noting that the price of gas has more than tripled in the past several years, and that “demand is growing far faster than supply,” Brown predicted “a debilitating effect on our economy because industry cannot obtain affordable supplies of [natural] gas.

“Isn’t it time,” he asked, “for our elected leaders to speak out against the use of natural gas for electricity generation before it stalls our economy, shuts down factories and washes away millions of jobs?"