Share this Post:

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

News: Climate Impacts of Gas As Bad Or Worse Than Coal

    SIGN-UP for our latest news and action alerts:
   Please leave this field empty

Facebook Fans

Related Blog Entries

by Kathleen Sutcliffe:
O Give Me A Home, Where The Skies Are…Oh Never Mind

Which has a worse smog problem ? The car-choked sprawling megalopolis of Los Angeles? Or the wide open plains of Wyoming? If you guessed LA, you&rsqu...

by Chris Jordan-Bloch:
Radioactive water being dumped into our rivers?

The recent New York Times investigation into the dangers posed to our air and water by fracking is a must-read. The meat of the investigation deals wi...

by Emily Greenlee:
New Yorkers:

Hundreds of New Yorkers from all over the state traveled to Albany today to warn lawmakers about the dangers of fracking. I was one of them. Frackin...

Earthjustice on Twitter

View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
11 April 2011, 3:42 PM
Guess it's time for yet another industry rebranding campaign...
Fracking drill operation. Photo courtesy of ens-Newswire

Natural gas has been touted as a more responsible energy source than coal in the face of climate change, but a new study conducted by researchers at Cornell University argues otherwise.

The study, which is scheduled to be published in the journal Climatic Change Letters, argues the advantages that gas produced from fracking has over coal are offset by the fugitive emissions of methane gas.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a impact far greater than carbon dioxide, especially in the first few decades following emission. The study found that the extraction of shale gas—the deposit that energy companies are targeting with their controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”—has climate impacts comparable to coal over 100 years and could be twice as severe over a 20-year horizon.

The key concern here is the increased amount of fugitive methane gas that goes into the atmosphere from fracking sites as compared to conventional gas drilling.

This development makes it harder and harder for policymakers to cast natural gas as a clean energy source—particularly when fracking has been linked to contaminated drinking water, exploding wells, mysterious animal deaths and other unsettling incidents.

All this should give members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee plenty to discuss at tomorrow’s hearing on fracking technology.

The Committee on Science, Space and Technology in the Republican-controlled house had planned a hearing of their own on the issue, but postponed it this morning. No word on whether the findings announced today had anything to do with that abrupt schedule change.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <p> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.