Duke’s shift toward gas began in earnest about seven years ago, triggering the closure of coal-fired plants in Eden and six other North Carolina communities, replacing them with five plants that use gas as their primary fuel. Clean-energy advocate Jim Warren believes Duke is reaping a public relations bonanza by shifting from a bad fossil fuel to another that’s only a bit less problematic.
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.
“Everything You Need to Know About Methane”, a primer by Earthjustice.
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The NC Waste Awareness and Reduction Network (NC WARN), offers the attached comments on various fracking rules. Our members are deeply concerned that the fracking process leads to additional hydrocarbons, and in particular methane, being released into the atmosphere, leading to more severe climate change.
The S.C. Public Service Commission has unanimously approved Duke Energy’s proposed $700 million W.S. Lee combined cycle natural gas plant.
The proposed 750-megawatt fracking gas-burning plant near Anderson, SC would likely cost over $1 billion, so the NC regulators must scrutinize the cost and need now, not later in a rate case after the plant is built.
Duke Energy Corp. customers in the Carolinas looking for relief from rate hikes are likely to be disappointed over the next several years. That is particularly true for customers at Duke Energy Progress, which forecasts the need for as many as five new natural gas plants between now and 2022.
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.
August 31, 2009 Climate trouble may be bubbling up in far north By CHARLES J. HANLEY (AP) MACKENZIE RIVER DELTA, Northwest Territories — Only a squawk from a sandhill crane broke the Arctic silence — and a low gurgle of bubbles, a watery whisper of trouble repeated in countless spots …
MELTING METHANE A Storehouse of Greenhouse Gases Is Opening in Sibera By Volker Mrasek Researchers have found alarming evidence that the frozen Arctic floor has started to thaw and release long-stored methane gas. The results could be a catastrophic warming of the earth, since methane is a far more potent …