Op-Ed: Mitigate the methane

May 18, 2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PEC in the News

First, the bad news. There is broad agreement that methane emissions from natural gas development in Pennsylvania and other states are a serious problem. Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas and, absent adequate controls, methane leaks across the natural gas supply chain could undo many of the potential environmental benefits natural gas can have over other fossil fuels like coal. But there appears to be a disconnect about what is being done today to assess and regulate these emissions in the Keystone State.

Natural gas has economic benefits that include lower heating costs and cheaper electricity. When burned, it sends fewer sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions into the atmosphere than coal. But methane — a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide for 20 years after its release into the atmosphere — can quickly undo those benefits…

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