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Top US Climate Problem

Cornell University’s Dr. Robert Howarth says methane leakage from the natural gas industry — and from fracking in particular — is the top driver of US greenhouse gas emissions. Videos, written testimony and a PowerPoint from Howarth are available at Howarth gives an excellent 3-minute summary in this video.


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How Reliable Is Natural Gas? — WUNC

Last year Duke Energy acquired Piedmont Natural Gas ... a marker of the energy industry’s shift toward using natural gas to produce electricity. Supporters of natural gas say it is cheaper and burns cleaner than coal. But critics argue that methane leaks during storage and transportation, which can accelerate global warming.

Young People’s Burden: Requirement of Negative CO2 Emissions — Earth System Dynamics

By James Hansen. Continued high fossil fuel emissions unarguably sentences young people to either a massive, possibly implausible cleanup or growing deleterious climate impacts or both, scenarios that should provide both incentive and obligation for governments to alter energy policies without further delay.

Natural gas vs coal: It’s all in the leak rate — The News & Observer

Op-ed by William Schlesinger. Leakage of natural gas, which is predominately methane, has another drawback. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that exerts about 86 times the global warming potential in the atmosphere compared with CO2 during the first 20 years after emission. Leakage from oil and gas fields makes a significant contribution to the annual emissions of methane to the atmosphere.

Duke’s climate-damaging future — News & Observer

Letter to the Editor from Dr. Harvard Ayers of The Climate Times. We believe that Duke Energy’s attempts to ignore our concerns have been the epitome of an anti-democratic power play to deny the public the right to object to a monopoly business that is clearly putting corporate profit ahead of customer well- being.

Future of Natural Gas Hinges on Stanching Methane Leaks — The New York Times

In the energy business, natural gas is supposed to be one of the good guys — the cleaner-burning fossil fuel that can help wean the world from dirty coal during the transition to a low-carbon future.

NC WARN Letter to Duke Energy CEO on Methane Leakage

NC WARN asks Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good to join our call for investigation of methane leakage scandal and to join us in getting methane emissions under control.

The most important mystery about U.S. climate change policy — The Washington Post

Environmentalists have charged for some time that the fracking boom — the rise in unconventional natural gas that is the key driver of all of this — has a dark underbelly. Natural gas’s principal component is methane, which is also a greenhouse gas. And if it gets to the atmosphere unburned, it has a much larger warming effect than carbon dioxide does, over a period of about 10 years.

Utilities commission ignores public concerns about Duke’s Asheville gas-fired plant — Winston-Salem Journal

In February, Duke Energy gave notice to the N.C. Utilities Commission that it planned to build a gas-fired power plant at the current Asheville coal power plant site. Four months later, the N.C. General Assembly approved, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed, the innocuous-sounding Mountain Energy Act, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson), which essentially greased the skids for a short, 45-day decision on Duke’s request. The normal time for such a decision is about 180 days, which is much better, considering the controversial nature of this request.

Why Natural Gas Might Not Be A ‘Bridge Fuel’ — WUNC’s The State of Things

Natural gas is considered a "bridge fuel" between fossil fuels and renewable energy, but experts warn that it can actually be worse than coal for the environment. This interview features Dr. Robert Howarth of Cornell University, who will be joining NC WARN on March 29th for two special public events discussing the dangers of fracking and methane to our health and climate.

Fracking could be behind startling increase in US methane surge, experts say — Independent (UK)

Startling increases in one of the main pollutants that cause global warming have been unexpectedly discovered over the United States – and the main suspect is the country’s booming fracking industry.
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