When Stephen Conley, an atmospheric scientist and pilot, saw an emissions indicator skyrocket in his Mooney TLS prop plane, he knew he had found a significant methane leak. His gas-detecting Picarro analyzer indicated he was flying through a plume of gas escaping at 900kg per hour. The colorless, odorless gas was enough to cover a football field to a height of 20 feet in a single day. But this flight wasn’t over the highly publicized Aliso Canyon in Los Angeles; Conley was circling the Bakken Shale, a rock formation in western North Dakota that has been aggressively pumped for oil and natural gas.
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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There was a huge global spike in one of the most potent greenhouse gases driving climate change over the last decade, and the U.S. may be the biggest culprit, according a new Harvard University study.
Today NC WARN and The Climate Times filed a legal motion and affidavits by three prominent technical experts urging state regulators to deny Duke Energy’s application to build a huge natural gas power plant in Asheville because it is not needed, would be high-risk economically, and would accelerate the global climate crisis at the worst possible time.
As Paris negotiators seek to avert irreversible global climate disruption, the nation’s largest carbon-polluting utility has been steaming full-speed backward with a climate- and economy-wrecking plan to greatly expand the burning and piping of fracked and conventional natural gas. Today NC WARN and The Climate Times openly pressed Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good to slow down, to weigh the evolving science and economics of natural gas, and to realize that she must share such critical decision-making with the people of North Carolina.
Read our October 2013 fact sheet on fracking.
Op-Ed by Anthony Ingraffea. Many concerned about climate change, including President Obama, have embraced hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. In his recent climate speech, the president went so far as to lump gas with renewables as “clean energy.” As a longtime oil and gas engineer who helped develop shale fracking techniques for the Energy Department, I can assure you that this gas is not “clean.” Because of leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, the gas extracted from shale deposits is not a “bridge” to a renewable energy future — it’s a gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments.