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.”
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. See a video, written testimony and a PowerPoint from Howarth. Howarth gives an excellent 3-minute summary in this video.
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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.
Watch the press conference we held at the Governor’s office in Raleigh on June 15, 2017 featuring Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, then-president of the NC NAACP, as part of our Emergency Methane Action campaign.
The nation’s largest carbon-polluting utility is trying to build up to 20 fracked gas-fired power plants in the Carolinas alone, plus the $5.6 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline to supply those plants with fracked gas. Thus Duke Energy is responsible for much of the methane emissions that are now driving the climate crisis.
Two WUNC stories on natural gas, the threat of methane to the climate and doubts about future natural gas supply projections.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.