Fracking boom in US and Canada largely to blame for rise in methane, warming levels

Mar 2012
New Hampshire
Good luck getting away from natural gas. Most power plants have been converting to it from coal and nuclear.

New research by scientists at Cornell University warns that the fracking boom in the U.S. and Canada over the past decade is largely to blame for a large rise in methane in the Earth's atmosphere—and that reducing emissions of the extremely potent greenhouse gas is crucial to help stem the international climate crisis.

Between 2005 and 2015, fracking went from producing 31 billion cubic meters of shale gas per year to producing 435 billion cubic meters.

Nearly 90 percent of that fracking took place in the U.S., while about 10 percent was done in Canada.

The fracking method was first used by oil and gas companies in 1949, but Howarth concluded that fracking done in the past decade has particularly contributed to the amount of methane in the atmosphere.

Researcher Howarth urged fossil fuel companies—and the government agencies charged with regulating them—to reverse course, shift to a renewable energy economy, and "move as quickly as possible away from natural gas, reducing both carbon dioxide and methane emissions."

Fracking Boom in US and Canada Largely to Blame for 'Massive' Rise of Global Methane Levels: Study


Former Staff
Jun 2007
Not surprising. Remember this guy?

T. Boone Pickens - Wikipedia

In the spring of 2010, Senator Kerry reached out to Pickens and encouraged his support of energy/climate change legislation he was drafting with Senators Lieberman and Graham. During a May 2010 meeting with reporters, Senator Kerry endorsed key provisions of "the Pickens Plan," incorporating aspects of that in the Kerry-backed legislation calling for the greater use of domestic natural gas to replace foreign oil‑diesel‑gasoline in America's heavy‑duty vehicle fleets.[26]
  • Like
Reactions: bajisima
Jun 2014
United States
His plan made sense on the surface. Couple gas-fired, rapid start-up electrical generation with wind-generators, using the gas turbine generators to "fill the gaps" inherent in wind power.

Yeah. Simply put, NG is far cleaner than coal. Ideally, we will eventually phase out any need for fossil fuels, but in the meantime, NG is a significant improvement.