Natural Gas Fracking – GHG Emitter

I have taken heat here from people who don’t believe that Natural Gas is part of the problem with Cliimate Change.  Sadly we have a President who is misinformed and even on Chris Hayes’ show this morning, folks who claim to want to do something about Climate change only mention oil and coal when talking about emissions. This blatant ommission, which occurs all the time leads to the mistaken public assumption that natural gas is somehow not carbon based and somehow not a fossil fuel and that somehow, it is “clean”.  We need to get this right.  The gas industry is poised to descend on PA and NJ like never before and the American Society of Civil Engineers predicts natural gas production will be the second largest growth sector in the economy.  We need to be very careful and honest about what natural gas is and what it isn’t.

But scientists are VERY concerned about the contribution that natural gas gives to the Greenhouse gas load.  This Scientific American article explains why.  Don’t just take my word for it OR the gas industry, or someone who conveniently forgets to mention gas when talking about fossil fuels. There is a reason the gas industry does not want to report methane emissions from fracked wells and why seven states are suing to find out how much that is exactly.


Here is a little chemistry lesson.  Natural gas chemical formula is CH4. That C in front of the H stands for carbon, folks. It is a carbon based form of energy that when burned emits Carbon dioxide.  One natural gas methane molecule added to two O2 oxygen molecules – gives you two molecules of water and one of carbon dioxide.

CH4 + 2 O2 = 2 H2O + CO2.  

That is AFTER you burn it. If just left to drift off from a newly fracked well into the atmosphere as methane – methane is over 20 times more potent at trapping heat in the atmosphere as C02. So be aware, Natural gas is a problem when you get it out of the ground by fracking as well as after you burn it. You get two hits on the Climate for the price of one. And you have misinformed elected officials (Including our President) running around touting Natural Gas as our Climate Savior.  Somebody, anybody, please disabuse him of this dangerous notion. ASAP.

In PA, former Democratic Governor Ed Rendell allowed a lot to happen in Pennsylvania.  Let’s not have Democratic legislators in NJ falling into that trap. We need to be vigilant, because Democrats can fall for the money of the Energy industry just as easily as Republicans do.  

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