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.
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.