Methane Emissions in Texas Fracking Region 50% Above EPA Estimates

"Environmental Defense Fund-backed studies of 30,000 Barnett Shale wells shows the EPA has vastly underestimated emissions."

"The release of 11 research papers Tuesday marked another milestone in the Environmental Defense Fund's ongoing effort to understand the natural gas industry's carbon footprint. Overall, the studies found that emissions of methane––a greenhouse gas at least 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide––in the Texas Barnett Shale were 50 percent higher than estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EDF-sponsored research adds to a growing body of work on the amount of methane leaking from natural gas operations, and the results are crucial for understanding whether natural gas will accelerate or delay the effects of climate change as it's increasingly used in place of coal.

Dozens of scientists from 20 universities and private research firms contributed to the 11 studies, collectively called the "Barnett Coordinated Campaign." Twelve research teams took measurements over an area that included 30,000 oil and gas wells, 275 compressor stations and 40 processing plants. All of the studies were published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology. Another study that synthesizes the papers' results will be published later."

Lisa Song and Zahra Hirji report for InsideClimate News July 8, 2015.

Source: InsideClimate News, 07/09/2015