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Opinion
Matthew Yglesias

Natural Gas Is Better Than Many Environmentalists Admit

At current margins, the fossil fuel makes economic sense, and using it can actually help reduce carbon emissions.

It can play a role in reducing carbon emissions.

It can play a role in reducing carbon emissions.

Photographer: Robert Nickelsberg/Archive Photos

While most of progressive Washington has celebrated the announcement of the Inflation Reduction Act, at least one left-wing gadfly isn’t having it. “A pipeline?” asked Nina Turner on Twitter last week. “In a climate bill? It’s not a climate bill.”

Turner, a former state senator from Ohio and co-chair of Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign, is referring to provisions of the IRA that would all but guarantee the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline between Virginia and West Virginia. (The proposal also includes some broader reforms that would generally make it harder to block pipeline construction.) And while Turner’s view that this provision invalidates the entire bill is very eccentric — essentially every mainstream environmental group has said that the legislation is, on balance, very good — her specific opposition to the construction of new pipelines is very mainstream.