Unintended consequences of policy efforts to abandon natural gas include starvation

We have often disagreed with Sen. Martin Heinrich’s big push to eliminate use of fossil fuels, including natural gas. But natural gas is not just used for home heating and cooking, it is a leading feed stock in food production.

A new report quoting a leading food economist, Máximo Torero, the chief economist at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, “has warned against moving away from natural gas production too soon, arguing more people will starve to death if the consequences are not thought through.”

Mr. Torero continued, saying, “If you switch the energy mix too quickly, you will increase the price of energy, then you will increase the price of fertilizers, you increase the price of food, more people dying of hunger. So what do you want?”

Natural gas is a key ingredient in the process used to make nitrogen-based fertilizers used on a range of crops, including corn and wheat. Natural gas accounts for 75% to 90% of operating costs in the production of nitrogen.

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