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methane leaks

EPA Gets Started on Curbing Heat-Trapping Methane from Oil and Gas Operations

April 17, 2014 by David Doniger

The EPA recently took the first step promised under President Obama’s Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, released last month. The EPA issued a set of white papers examining five big sources of heat-trapping methane and other dangerous air pollutants from the oil and gas sector.[read more]

Catalyzing the Oil and Gas Industry to Clean Up its Act

April 7, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

The oil and gas industry leaks a significant amount of natural gas into the atmosphere. Most of this leaked gas is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas pollutant. This leaked gas also represents a great deal of lost product for the oil and gas industry[read more]

Methane Leakage from Cows Higher than from Natural Gas Development

March 10, 2014 by Alex Trembath

Methane Emissions

Since the onset of the shale gas revolution, many have worried that emissions of fugitive methane — the main component of natural gas and a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide on a molecule-for-molecule basis — are eroding the climate benefits of switching from coal to natural gas.[read more]

Opportunity: Plugging US Oil and Natural Gas System Methane Leaks

March 6, 2014 by Jared Anderson

Methane Leak Opportunity

A new methane emission study released recently details sources and potential costs associated with reducing emissions of the potent greenhouse gas from US energy infrastructure. The study found the US oil and gas industry could significantly reduce methane emissions using existing technology[read more]

Much Ado About Methane? A Little Global Context Helps Separate the Long from the Short

February 21, 2014 by Lindsay Wilson

Methane Impact

Last Friday a paper was released that again showed that methane leaks in North America may be greater than previously estimated. The result was another round of debate as to whether natural gas is a suitable ‘bridge fuel’ to a sustainable future.[read more]

Methane Emissions Far Worse Than US Estimates, But Study Concludes Natural Gas Still Better Than Coal

February 18, 2014 by Marianne Lavelle

Methane Leaks and the Environment

Emissions of the potent heat-trapping gas, methane, the main component of natural gas, are likely 50 percent higher than U.S. government has estimated in its official greenhouse gas inventory, says a new study that is the most comprehensive effort yet to assess the problem.[read more]


Quantifying the Impact of Multiple Avenues of Methane's Underestimation

January 23, 2014 by Sieren Ernst

Cornell professors Robert Howarth, Renee Santoro, and Anthony Ingraffea ignited a controversy in 2011 when they published a study claiming that, due to escaped methane, emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas were worse than coal.[read more]

Three Key Facts About the New Methane Paper

November 28, 2013 by Steve Everley

A new study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that EPA’s greenhouse gas inventory may be underestimating total methane emissions in the United States, possibly by as much as 50 percent.[read more]

Bridge Out: Study Finds Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Production Higher Than EPA Estimates

November 28, 2013 by Joseph Romm

Methane Emissions

Natural gas is mostly methane (CH4), a potent heat-trapping gas. If, as now seems likely, natural gas production systems leak 2.7% (or more), then gas-fired power loses its near-term advantage over coal and becomes more of a gangplank than a bridge.[read more]

More Bad News For Fracking: IPCC Warns Methane Traps More Heat

October 7, 2013 by Joseph Romm

Methane and Heat Trapping

The IPCC reports that methane is far more potent a greenhouse gas than we had previously realized. This matters to the fracking debate because methane leaks throughout the lifecycle of unconventional gas. Natural gas is, after all, mostly methane.[read more]

Experts: Climate Scientists Have Obligation to Political Impartiality

September 26, 2013 by Mia Shaw

Scientific Impartiality

A recent study found that 99 percent of the greenhouse gas escaping from wells could be captured by state of the art equipment. The study’s findings were celebrated by environmentalists, but immediately criticized by two Cornell University scientists.[read more]

EDF Burned By Its Own Fracking Study, Say Gas Experts

September 25, 2013 by Tina Casey

Natural Gas and Fugitive Emissions

The Environmental Defense Fund has spearheaded an ambitious industry-funded series of studies on fugitive emissions from fracking and other natural gas life cycle operations, and the first study to be released looks just like what you’d expect from an industry-funded study.[read more]

Study Of Best Fracked Wells Finds Low Methane Emissions, Skips Super-Emitters

September 24, 2013 by Joseph Romm

Fracked Wells Study

The good news: A sample of what are probably the best fracked wells in the country finds low emissions of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas. The bad news: The study likely missed the super-emitters, the wells that are responsible for the vast majority of methane leakage.[read more]

Natural Gas Study: Allays Fears for Some, Inspires Hot Air From Others

September 20, 2013 by Bill Chameides

The rise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from layers of shale has engendered broad concern and debate about environmental damage. Key among these concerns has been the possibility that fracking causes water contamination.[read more]

Bombshell Study Confirms Low Methane Leakage from Shale Gas

September 19, 2013 by Steve Everley

Critics of hydraulic fracturing have alleged that methane leaks from development are not only high, but make natural gas from shale a climate “disaster.” But a new report from the University of Texas and the Environmental Defense Fund might put that theory to rest for good.[read more]