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Tagged : methane


‘Fracked’ residents call on Congress and the EPA to investigate water contamination

February 5th, 2014

Texas, Pennsylvania and Wyoming homeowners whose water has been contaminated by gas fracking operations called on Congress today to hold hearings about what they see as the natural gas industry’s widespread negative impacts on water, air and communities.

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Organic farms help mitigate climate change

December 18th, 2013

Organic agriculture, long considered healthier for soil, water and wildlife, also helps mitigate climate change, according to a study done by European agriculture experts.

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Public hearings on gas and oil drilling pollution coming to Pittsburgh, Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth

September 20th, 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold three public hearings in September on the agency’s proposed standards to reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations. The proposed standards would rely on cost-effective, existing technologies and practices to reduce pollution that contributes to smog and can cause cancer, while supporting the administration’s priority of continuing to expand safe and responsible domestic oil and natural gas production.

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Forced Pooling: When Landowners Can’t Say No to Drilling

May 19th, 2011

by Marie C. Baca
Special to ProPublica

As the shale gas boom sweeps across the United States, drillers are turning to a controversial legal tool called forced pooling to gain access to minerals beneath private property–in many cases, without the landowners’ permission.

Forced pooling is common in many established oil and gas states, but its use has grown more contentious as concerns rise about drilling safety and homeowners in areas with little drilling history struggle to understand the obscurities of mineral laws.

Joseph Todd, who lives in rural Big Flats, N.Y., wasn’t especially concerned when he learned in 2009 that his half-acre property had become part of a drilling unit. But when methane gas showed up in his drinking water well after the drilling began, he became outraged, describing forced pooling as “eminent domain for gas drillers.”

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Cornell scientists say methane leaks from ‘fracking’ could be worse than emissions from coal and oil

April 12th, 2011

A Cornell review of natural gas extraction methods reveals that ‘fracking’ gas from the Marcellus Shale region of New York and Pennsylvania could release dangerous amounts of methane gas, causing more damage to the atmosphere per pound than even carbon dioxide.

Natural gas, which burns cleaner (producing less carbon dioxide) than gasoline, diesel fuel and coal has been touted as a greener “bridge fuel” that could power cars and replace coal in power plants. Tailpipe emissions from natural gas-powered vehicles emit few greenhouse gases.

But Cornell ecologist Robert Howarth warns that the natural gas extraction or drilling process releases dangerous amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide. The methane leakage is the worse when the gas is accessed by the hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ methods that have become popular with the industry. Fracking is a way of teasing out deeply embedded gas deposits using high pressure water injections in wells that run both vertically and horizontally through shale deposits.

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Crop-based energy’s failures and potential

September 17th, 2010

(The following is adapted from Lester R. Brown’s Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009), which is available at the Earth Policy Institute website. Brown is the president of the Earth Policy Institute.)


Lester Brown

As oil and natural gas reserves are being depleted, the world’s attention is increasingly turning to plant-based energy sources. These include food crops, forest industry byproducts, sugar industry byproducts, plantations of fast-growing trees, crop residues, and urban tree and yard wastes—all of which can be used for electrical generation, heating, or the production of automotive fuels.

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‘Dry water’ may be a useful tool in the global warming fight

August 25th, 2010

The possible next big thing in the battle against climate change sounds like something straight out of science fiction. “Dry water” may be an effective new way to absorb and store carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. That was the finding of a group of scientists at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, who added that the substance might also be a greener way to produce hundreds of consumer products and even store and transport potentially harmful industrial materials.

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Could future cars consume, not produce, greenhouse gases?

March 12th, 2009

By John DeFore
Green Right Now


File this under Sounds Too Good To Be True: Researchers using nanomaterials at Penn State are experimenting with a device that changes carbon dioxide into methane that can be used as transportation fuel.

Chronicling their experiments in the journal Nano Letters, team leader Craig Grimes describes an array of nanotubes that were coated with catalyst layers of platinum and/or copper, then stuck in a stainless steel chamber with some CO2-loaded water vapor and placed in the sun. After a few hours, the catalyst had turned some of the carbon dioxide into methane.

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Antarctica melting faster than expected

February 28th, 2009

By Marice Richter
Green Right Now

Scientists have new evidence of global warming and the perils it poses to millions of people around the world.

A study released this week by International Polar Year 2007-2008 reports that glaciers in Antarctica are melting faster than expected and the thaw is occurring in a much larger area than originally believed.

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Alternative fuels may strain water supply

October 31st, 2008

By John DeFore

In the quest to ween cars and trucks off oil, alternative-fuel schemes may be heading for a roadblock they haven’t fully considered: water.

Public discussions of alternative fuels have rarely if ever touched on how much water might be needed to produce such fuel on a large scale. But researchers in Texas warn that it may be much more than you’d expect.

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Melting permafrost will release more carbon

September 26th, 2008

By John DeFore

We’re already used to worrying about at least one set of issues when it comes to melting caused by global warming: that water entering oceans from disintegrating arctic ice may cause sea levels to rise worldwide.

Now scientists suggest that another sort of melting could not only be caused by climate change, but could in itself accelerate it. At issue is not polar icecaps but permafrost, the frozen ground found in the far north.

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Stopping Gas Inflation

May 23rd, 2008

By John DeFore Nearly 20 years ago, a magical substance called Beano was introduced that negated an age-old dietary reality: If you took it with a meal, you could eat all the beans (or other troublesome foods) you wanted without worrying about having gas when you left the dinner table. Beano might mostly be used [...]

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