GHG emissions

The following studies show that the argument of natural gas being a clean, transition fuel is false, due to the large amount of often unaccounted methane emissions (leaked, vented or flared) as a potent greenhouse gas (GHG):

LA gas leak: worst in US history spewed as much pollution as 600,000 cars (Guardian, 26 Feb 2016)

Traffic-related impact of fracking revealed (New Castle University, 24 Feb 2016)

Methane leaks responsible for 30 %+ of climate change (No Fracking Way, 16 Dec 2015) – “Right now, the biggest single source of methane emissions in the state is in a hilly territory north of Los Angeles, where a massive natural gas leak from Southern California Gas Company’s underground Aliso Canyon storage field has permeated the nearby community of Porter Ranch with a foul smell, sickening some residents and prompting hundreds to relocate.” Taranaki has its own Ahuroa underground gas storage facility “to store gas during periods of low demand and extract it during periods of high demand or high price”.

Study sees shortfall in methane emissions estimate (Climate Central, 13 Oct 2015) – “Since 2008, coal use has decreased, in part due to the recession but also in part due to replacement of coal with shale gas to produce electricity,” Howarth said. “This reduction in coal has led to a decrease in CO2 emissions. However, methane emissions have increased dramatically because of the increased production of shale gas. When both gases are considered, the total greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector of the U.S. have been rising since 2008 at the fastest rate seen in many decades.”

One year in FLIR – exposing invisible fracking air pollution (Earthworks, 10 Aug 2015) – “we have almost 150 videos documenting fracking pollution in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. …By showing these videos to reporters and regulators we are instigating action to create real, lasting change for people living in the gaspatch…”

– See more at:

Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000-2012 (Ingraffea et al. 2014 in PNAS  See media coverage on Huffington Post and Climate Progress.

A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas (Robert Howarth in Energy Science and Engineering, April 2014). doi:10.1002/ese3.35

Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development (Dana Caulton et al. in Proceedings of National Academy of Science, March 2013), doi: 10.1073/pnas.1316546111

Environmental impacts of shale gas extraction in Canada (Council of Canadian Academics, 2014) “…Two issues of particular concern to panel members are water resources, especially groundwater, and GHG emissions. Both relate to well integrity….”

Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emission from shale gas development  (March 2014, Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences)

Methane leaks erode green credentials of natural gas (Nature, 2 Jan 2013)

Climate impact of potential shale gas production in the EU (Final report for EC Climate, 30 July 2012 – PDF 2.4 MB)

Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations (Howarth, Santoro and Ingraffea, in Climate Change, June 2011)

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