As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the national Sierra Club

is one of natural gas’s biggest boosters.

Carl Pope, the Sierra Club’s executive director, has traveled the country promoting natural gas’s environmental benefits, sometimes alongside Aubrey McClendon, chief executive of Chesapeake Energy Corp., one of the biggest U.S. gas companies by production.


When energy companies began preparations to drill for natural gas in upstate New York last year, the local Sierra Club quickly organized against them.

The group’s New York chapter demanded studies on the environmental risks, pushed for stricter regulations and called for a statewide ban on most gas drilling.

As discussed in the article, many national environmental groups are in sync with the idea, touted loudly by the natural gas industry, that gas helps form a “bridge” of sorts to help tide us over while we get more renewable energy sources going.  This idea does have some appeal, but not if the sacrifice is too great.  Nevertheless, the article goes on,

The pressure from local environmentalists appears to be having an impact. The Natural Resources Defense Council is now pushing for stricter regulation of drilling, the Environmental Defense Fund is working with companies to encourage them to adopt stronger environmental safeguards, and the Sierra Club has formed a task force to draft a policy on hydraulic fracturing.

It will be interesting to see what develops, and whether the Sierra Club and their environmentalist brethren will come up to speed appropriately on alternative means of fracturing, as discussed here and here.