Gov. Cooper urged to stop Duke as global methane surges to highest level on record and gas industry emissions are far higher than EPA estimates
New federal data show global atmospheric concentrations of methane at a record high just as a separate Harvard study shows the US oil and gas industry is emitting far more methane than earlier estimated. Meanwhile, NC WARN keeps running hard-hitting TV/digital and print ads calling for Gov. Roy Cooper to use his emergency authority to stop Duke Energy from fueling climate chaos by planning more than 50 fracked-gas burning power units at an unknown number of North Carolina sites.
The “surprising and disturbing” global jump in methane – the second most prevalent climate pollutant, which is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over an all-important 20-year period – was announced on April 7 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“It is very scary indeed,” said Professor Euan Nisbet of London’s Royal Holloway University. NOAA also found that CO2 concentrations hit a record high in 2020. Scientists emphasize that, due to its potency, reducing methane emissions “can slow global warming more quickly than reducing those of carbon dioxide,” as reported by The Financial Times but few other media outlets.
The Harvard researchers published results in late March based on a new satellite method for tracing methane emissions from the US oil and gas industry. They were able to measure methane emissions from particular areas instead of relying on extrapolations that are the foundation of emissions estimates by the US EPA, as reported by SciTechDaily but few other media outlets.
“… [W]e shouldn’t wait until we fully understand these emissions to start trying to reduce them,” said lead author Joannes Maasakkers. He joined leading climate scientists in warning that gas industry methane emissions must be stopped if total climate chaos is to be averted.
Charlotte-based Duke Energy is a leading driver of gas drilling and leading climate polluter among US power providers. NC WARN buys statewide ad space because very few news outlets are reporting the basics about Duke Energy’s climate-wrecking plans – 50 new fracked gas-fired units – and its hindrance of the clean energy revolution.
If Duke Energy is allowed to keep building fossil-fueled power plants, North Carolina will keep failing its duty to help avert runaway climate, social and economic chaos.