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climate & energy justice

Methane, Fracked Gas & Climate

Methane (the main component in natural gas) is 100 times as bad for the climate as carbon dioxide over the short term. Less CO2 is emitted by natural gas than by coal when burned. But significant leakage of methane before burning makes gas a disaster for the climate, even as utilities and the gas industry are feverishly promoting fracked gas.

NC WARN is working hard to connect the dots between climate change, methane leakage and the fracking boom that is driven by demand from the electric power industry.

Learn more about our methane work here.

Watch a 3-minute video by Cornell University’s Dr. Robert Howarth describing why natural gas is a disastrous strategy for the climate. More videos, PowerPoints and documentation here.

“Everything You Need to Know About Methane”, a primer by Earthjustice.

Sub-categories

Switching from coal to natural gas will not save our planet — Seattle Times

Op-Ed by Bill McKibben. Most magic tricks and confidence games mostly work the same way — a little bit of misdirection to get the audience looking in the wrong direction. And some of the finest magicians at large in America today are its natural-gas salesmen, who have worked hard to reassure us that they’re part of the solution to the global warming crisis. To understand why that’s a ploy — to understand why they’re in fact helping drive the heating of the planet — you have to pay close attention.

Global Heat Wave Continues for Fourth Year through June – News Release from NC WARN

As regional heatwaves, wildfires and other extremes continue their nightmarish advance alongside the incredible rate of global heating, the oil, gas and power industries don’t want the public to know about the methane-climate connection. They prefer to keep building unneeded power plants and pipelines while stifling the transition to economically superior clean energy solutions.

Flawed Environmental Justice Analyses — Science

In December 2016, FERC issued a draft environmental impact statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline... The proposed route crosses territories of four Native American tribes in North Carolina, ...[who have] unique concerns deriving from their status as indigenous peoples.

Federal Law Requires Restart of Atlantic Coast Pipeline Review Process, says NC WARN Attorney – News Release by NC WARN

Intervenor NC WARN and two dozen allied nonprofits opposing the pipeline filed a motion late yesterday citing clear federal law that requires FERC to carefully review the new data and prepare an updated EIS, and allow the public, along with various state and federal agencies, to review and comment on the completed document. 

Natural gas building boom fuels climate worries, enrages landowners – Center for Public Integrity

But Robert Howarth, an environmental biology professor at Cornell University, estimates that methane emissions produced by shale gas from wellhead to delivery could add up to a 12-percent leak rate — causing substantially more warming in the short term than coal. Howarth sees the rapid rise in gas development as a contributor to the recent spike in global temperatures, including record-breaking heat waves in 2015 and 2016. “The buildout of pipelines,” he said, “is a true climate disaster.”

EPA’s Methane Estimates for Oil and Gas Sector Under Investigation — Inside Climate News

The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General will investigate how the agency estimates methane emissions from the oil and gas sector after an environmental group alleged that its emission estimates and regulations are based, in part, on faulty studies.

Record 4-year Global Heating Continues As Whistleblower Complaint Leads to Inquiry into Underreporting of Methane Emissions — Note to Editors from NC WARN

The EPA’s inspector general’s office announced Wednesday that it will evaluate EPA methane emissions estimates for the oil and gas sector to determine “whether concerns about technical or other problems with [the Allen studies of 2013 and 2014] were … addressed or resolved” by the EPA. Those problems were the subject of a June 2016 complaint filed by NC WARN. See report on Inspector General's announcement in Inside Climate News.

Focus should be on methane emissions — Letter to the Editor of the Charlotte Observer

By Ron Bryant. I appreciate the Observer’s reporting on the climate treaty but want to add some important facts from Cornell University’s Methane Project. Natural gas is not a “cleaner” option to coal, as methane, including that leaked/vented from natural gas operations, is 100 times worse than CO2.

NC NAACP, NC WARN Launch Campaign to Ban Use of Climate-Busting Fracked Gas — News Release

The NC NAACP and climate justice nonprofit NC WARN have joined forces in a new statewide campaign calling on Governor Roy Cooper to phase out the import and use of fracked gas in North Carolina. They say this state must seize this urgent opportunity to help slow the global climate crisis, especially due to a failure of national leadership, and to stem the many other harms of fracked gas.

Please Tell the People: Global Heat Wave Continues in 2017; Methane from Fracking is Major Cause – The Greensboro Times

This ongoing heat wave supports the case made by Cornell scientists and others who argue that methane emissions from the US fracking boom are a key factor in the unexpected rate of heating since 2014. That fracking boom is being driven by Duke Energy and other utilities burning more and more shale gas. 
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Emergency Methane Action

Watch press conference at the Governor's office in Raleigh on June 15, 2017 featuring Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the NC NAACP.
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