State of the Union reaction: natural gas is not clean energy | EARTHblog

State of the Union reaction: natural gas is not clean energy | EARTHblog.

One Response to State of the Union reaction: natural gas is not clean energy | EARTHblog

  1. My wife and I used to work at Cornell University, Ithaca, and just loved upstate New York. We were accordingly very distressed to see the movie Gasland about despoilation of beautiful America by “fracking”. Now the Gas Boom, Gas Rush and Gasland scenario have come to Australia, notably in Queensland and New South Wales. A scientist (biological chemistry) who still teaches agricultural science university students, I am trying to inform the public in Australia and abroad about the huge threat to Humanity posed by gas burning and a coal to gas transition for heating and electric power.

    Contrary to claims by the gas industry and politicians (most disappointingly by President Obama), gas is not clean energy (Google “gas is not clean energy” for a detailed and documented assessment).

    In short, methane (CH4) (about 85% of natural gas) is 105 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas (GHG) on a 20 year time frame and taking aerosol impacts into account (Dr Drew Shindell, NASA). Methane leaks (3.3% in the US based on the latest US EPA data and as high as 7.9% for methane from “fracking” coal seams according to Professor Robert Howarth, Cornell University). Using this information one can determine that burning for electricity is much dirtier than coal burning greenhouse gas-wise (GHG-wise). While gas burning for power generates twice as much electrical energy per tonne of CO2 produced (MWh/tonne CO2) than coal burning and the health-adverse pollution from gas burning is lower than for coal burning, gas leakage in the system actually means that gas burning for power is worse GHG-wise than coal burning.

    I have informed MPs and media in Australia that the proposed coal-to-gas transition would DOUBLE greenhouse gas pollution from electricity plants because of systemic gas leakage (that is far worse with coal seam gas). Unfortunately the Silence is Deafening, no doubt because Australia is a world leader in annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution, coal experts and liquid natural gas (LNG) exports.

    We must get through the Wall of Silence. Please inform everyone you can.

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