Fracked gas links

This is a highly incomplete list of links with key findings in bold.  Here is a library with lots of links, compiled by Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for healthy Energy.

  1. Emissions from power plants, refineries may be far higher than reported

    A new peer-reviewed paper in Environmental Science and Technology suggests that methane emissions from natural gas power plants and oil refineries may be significantly higher than accounted for in current inventories. The report estimates average hourly methane emissions 11 to 90 times higher for refineries, and 21 to 120 times higher for natural gas power plants than those calculated from data provided by facility operators to Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program.

  2. Short-lived greenhouse gases cause centuries of sea-level rise
  3. Fossil fuel industry’s methane emissions far higher than thought The question this title raises is: “Higher than who thought?” All you have to do is scroll down. Nevertheless confirmation by new methods of an old result is important. That’s certainly the case in a field like this one where obtaining accurate results is notoriously difficult. Keep this in mind reading the following lead paragraph:

    Emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas from coal, oil and gas are up to 60% greater than previously estimated, meaning current climate prediction models should be revised, research shows.

  4. Study: Most sources of methane hot spot are gas facilities

    Researchers identified more than 250 sources of a methane hot spot over the Four Corners region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. They include gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines and processing plants.

  5. High-Level EPA Adviser Accused of Scientific Fraud in Methane Leak Research

    The 68-page complaint dated June 8 laid out evidence that David Allen, a professor of engineering at the University of Texas who served as the chairman of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board from 2012 to 2015, disregarded red flags that his methane measuring equipment malfunctioned when collecting data from fracked well sites, a problem that caused his University of Texas study to lowball leak rates.

  6. Fracking’s Air Pollution Puts Infants and Children at Risk of Developing Heart, Lung Problems: New Study

    A newly published peer-reviewed study concludes that air pollution from fracking puts people’s lungs, hearts, and immune systems at risk – and that the health risks are particularly pointed for young children and infants.

  7. Infrared videos of oil and gas methane pollution events across the country:

    “For the past eight years I have witnessed the rapid increase of oil and gas industrialization and the environmental destruction that comes with it,” said Lisa DeVille of Dakota Resource Council and the Three Affiliated Tribes.

  8. Methane Leaks Erase Climate Benefit Of Fracked Gas, Countless Studies Find

    By The Time Natural Gas Has A Net Climate Benefit You’ll Likely Be Dead And The Climate Ruined.

  9. Study Ties U.S. to Spike in Global Methane Emissions

    There was a huge global spike in one of the most potent greenhouse gases driving climate change over the last decade, and the U.S. may be the biggest culprit, according a new Harvard University study.

  10. A double-sided summary of the key points and figures from Robert Howarth’s 2015 publications including his latest Methane emissions and climatic warming risk from hydraulic fracturing and shale gas development: implications for policy (with video abstract)
  11. Concerned Health Professionals of New York:  Compendium of scientific, medical, and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking (unconventional gas and oil extraction)

    As this unconventional extraction method (collectively known as “fracking”) has pushed into more densely populated areas of the United States, as fracking operations have increased in frequency and intensity, and, as the transport of extracted materials has expanded, a significant body of evidence has emerged to demonstrate that these activities are dangerous to people and their communities in ways that are difficult —and may prove impossible—to mitigate. Risks include earthquakes and adverse impacts on water, air, agriculture, public health and safety, property values, climate stability, and economic vitality.

  12. Brady W. Allred et al. Ecosystem services lost to oil and gas in North America (SCIENCE 24 APRIL 2015 • VOL 348 ISSUE 6233 401)

    Advanced technologies in oil and gas extraction coupled with energy demand have encouraged an average of 50,000 new wells per year throughout central North America since 2000. Although similar to past trends (see the graph, this page), the space and infrastructure required for horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing are transforming millions of hectares of the Great Plains into industrialized landscapes, with drilling projected to continue. Although this development brings economic benefits and expectations of energy security, policy and regulation give little attention to trade-offs in the form of lost or degraded ecosystem services.

  13. Touché Howard, University of Texas study underestimates national methane

    The University of Texas reported on a campaign to measure methane (CH4) emissions from United States natural gas (NG) production sites as part of an improved national inventory. Unfortunately, their study appears to have systematically underestimated emissions.

  14. Miller et. al.Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States

    “However, government estimates for total US methane emissions may be biased by 50%, and estimates of individual source sectors are even more uncertain.

  15. Ingraffea et. al .: Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012 “Unconventional gas wells in northeastern (NE) Pennsylvania are at a 2.7-fold higher risk relative to the conventional wells in the same area.”
  16. Howarth “both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger GHG than do coal or oil, for any possible use of natural gas and particularly for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating.”
  17. McKain et. al. Methane emissions from natural gas infrastructure and use in the urban region of Boston, Massachusetts“Emissions from natural gas are found to be two to three times larger than predicted by existing inventory methodologies and industry reports.”
  18. Here are the numbers for the global warming potential of methane.
    See table 8.7 the second line of data from the top on the page that is labeled 714 at the bottom left. That page shows up as page 56 of the PDF.


UDALL: Can you have cretaceous carbon without having a cretaceous climate?  Again, this period in Earth’s history was very warm and sea levels were very high …

HOWARTH: The hypothesis here is that shale [fracked] gas is better for global warming than other fossil fuels and it’s a good transitional fuel. We tested that and the answer is: “No, it’s not!” The Whitehouse has clearly bought into this idea that natural gas is part of the solution of moving us gradually off of fossil fuels. I don’t think that they did that with good science.

Let me summarize it. There are numerous workshops and conferences, and countless papers on “well-bore integrity” for a simple reason: wellheads leak and nobody knows how to fix it.

Drill-baby-drill is … destiny and, in a way, it’s manifest destiny. […] This is a decline curve for the normal Haynesville well. Now on the bottom [of the graph] these are not years; these are months. This is progeria. This is a well dying as it is born.

Where the Market is God and $$$ the only metric of success, US amnesia is stunning.  Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush:

In 2011 the suspicion arose that some were blowing bubbles.
Who Are America’s Top 10 Gas Drillers?

Natural gas—often touted as an abundant, comparatively clean source of domestic energy—has come under intensifying public scrutiny in recent months, with federal regulators and reporters challenging some of the industry’s rosy business projections.

… and the winner is Exxon Mobil!

In the e-mails, energy executives, industry lawyers, state geologists and market analysts voice skepticism about lofty forecasts and question whether companies are intentionally, and even illegally, overstating the productivity of their wells and the size of their reserves. Many of these e-mails also suggest a view that is in stark contrast to more bullish public comments made by the industry, in much the same way that insiders have raised doubts about previous financial bubbles.

This was 2011, but the DC bubble is impenetrable. Here is the 2012 State of the Union Saudi America address:

In 2015, Reality strikes back:

Reality—what a concept!

Construction of infrastructure, such as the AIM Project, that commits us to decades of fossil fuel use. It is a manifest violation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the supreme law of the land.

In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.