Tag Archive: methane

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.  

Climate Change and Natural Gas Emissions Data


Here is an EPA interactive webpage showing the methane emissions and other emissions that come directly from the gas and oil industry.  

Some natural gas supporters can imply that methane only comes from thawing swamps in the arctic, but the EPA has the data.  Right here.

You can look it up by state, by county even. By type of greenhouse gas.  Numbers are given in metric tons.

Now the drawback to this data is simply this.  95% of emissions from fracking are NOT included in this data. Why? because these wells are not required to report. It is estimated that 95% of emissions are NOT reported to the EPA from fracking.

That is why seven states are now gearing up to sue the EPA to get that information known and reported. NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (my new hero) is leading the charge.  


Salem County News Roundup

Promoted by njdem

It’s been a while since I did one of these.  Various environmental and health issues are featured.  Okay, so the style is not as colorful as the Hudson Observer’s diaries, but whatever style you prefer, why don’t you tell us what’s going in your county? 

Senator Bob Menenedez said yesterday at the opening of the Salem County fair:

“I understand that New Jersey is the Garden State,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, a North Jersey legislator who came to show his support for local agriculture. “And Salem County is the garden spot in the Garden State.”

  “We appreciate what Salem County does. I may live in North Jersey, but I like to eat,” he said with a laugh. “You provide it and we eat it.”