Fracking 99% successful

A new U of Texas/Environmental Defense Fund study shows that new natural gas fracking operations capture 99% of the methane. This corrects an earlier speculation by a couple of activists from Cornell who claimed that escaping methane negated the significant effects of natural gas in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

I am trying to give the Cornell folks the benefit for the doubt and assume that their motives were not merely political. If we extend this consideration to them, we find that they might have fallen victims to old data and perhaps looked backward instead of forward. It makes no sense to believe that "greedy" firms would want to let lots of their product just be lost. They would constantly be working on ways to get more product, even if they cared not at all about their image or following laws and regulation. And let's give credit to regulation. EPA regulations are coming on line that will ensure that there is no backsliding.

Older wells are less effective. This is not surprise. Methods and technologies improve. Think of a computer that is twenty years old. If you studied computers in general and included the 1993 version of the PC, you would not have an accurate picture of what was possible in 2013.

The news about shale gas was good and it keeps on getting better. It has changed the equation in the Middle East. In the last five years, fracking has created more than a million jobs and pumped more real money into the U.S. economy than the total of the borrowed stimulus. It has helped the U.S. reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, so that we will reach our putative Kyoto contacts w/o having to take the draconian steps envisioned. It is putting money into rural economies and helping spur the return of industrial production to the American heartland.

As importantly, our fears and apprehensions associated with the process are proving exaggerated or unfounded. Natural gas will provide the bridge to the future. It is allowing us to drastically reduce our CO2 emissions, while bringing jobs and money back to the USA. It is very close to being a miracle.

Posted by Christine & John at September 24, 2013 9:02 AM
Comment #370943

The key question is 1% of how much? Methane is a very strong greenhouse gas, at least when unburnt. I don’t mind fracking if it’s not producing bad results in terms of groundwater and that fluid they use, but these are things we ought to be sure of, because that fuel will likely only last for part of the next century, the water has to last us an indefinite period.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 24, 2013 7:36 AM
Comment #370947


It replaces coal, which produces twice as much per unit of energy.

Re water - the water cycle is interesting. Almost every drop of water that has ever been on earth has been here since almost the beginning of time.

There is no serious indication that fracking damages groundwater when do properly. I know that those guys who made gasland and fools that make movies like promised land like to exaggerate the threat, but it is negligible.

You don’t really believe in global warming, do you? You told me something needed to be done urgently five years ago. We give you MORE than you told us was even possible to do to reduce U.S. emissions. Now you don’t want it.

We all know that natural gas will not last forever. Nothing really lasts forever. But if you think global warming is an urgent problem, you have to accept the urgent solution. Someday we will develop and deploy other solutions, but not today and not tomorrow.

Posted by: CJ at September 24, 2013 9:16 AM
Comment #371679

Ok so that’s a quick fix to the problem and we are exploring other ways too. Great. By the way, besides resolving the shortage of gas supply, the natural gas companies are good to fuel investing profits too

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