Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New study re-ignites natural gas vs. coal enviro debate

If you're following the controversy surrounding natural gas drilling and its hydrofracturing (fracking) technique, you'll want to read about a new study that's guaranteed to heighten that debate while also firing up the quarrel between gas and coal.

Subscribers to our daily EnviroPolitics newsletter learned yesterday about a Cornell University study which concluded that so much methane is escaping from gas wells and distribution lines that the fuel's accepted environmental benefit over coal is now questionable.

Poking holes into natural gas's credentials as environmentally preferable to coal is bad news for the
gas industry but should be warmly embraced by coal producers who have seen their market share steadily erode as more and more utilities switch over their power plants to burn natural gas.

It's not surprising that the gas industry reacted immediately with a detailed web rebuttal.

And this is just the start. Can you imagine the number of fervent calls going out from both sides today to PR and lobbying firms?

Expect an avalanche of white papers, special web sites and talking points to follow. 

What do you think?  Are you surprised by the Cornell study?  Think it's biased?
How do you see it shaping the ongoing national energy debate or shale drilling in PA?

Share your views in the comment box below. If one isn't visible, click the 'comments' line.  

Related stories:

Studies Say Natural Gas Has Its Own Environmental Problems
Methane Losses Stir Debate on Natural Gas

More Reasons to Question Whether Gas is Cleaner than Coal
Shale gas 'worse than coal' for climate

Five Things to Know about the Cornell Shale Study  

Like this post? You'll love our daily newsletter, EnviroPolitics
No obligation. Cancel anytime with a single click

Subscribe here to view all our YouTube videos

Repost this article