Methane Gas Leaks Undermine Shift to Natural Gas

Natural-gas wells such as this one in Colorado are increasingly important to the US energy supply. Credit: David Zalubowski/AP Photo

Scientists report that there are alarmingly high methane emissions from oil and gas fields, undermining the environmental benefits of natural gas, which is transforming the current US energy system.

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Natural Gas Mining Could Leak Enough Methane, No Longer Considered as Clean

hydraulic-fracking

Natural gas, which is often perceived as a clean alternative to coal and oil, can be advantageous since it produces fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than other fossil fuels. This was one of the reasons why there was a large scale shift to natural gas in the 1990s. However, to release the gas, engineers must split rock by injecting a high-pressured fluid, a process which is called hydraulic fracking.

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