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Bombshell Study Reveals Methane Emissions Hugely Underestimated


Bombshell Study Reveals Methane Emissions Hugely Underestimated

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

The amount of methane being leaked from natural gas production sites has been hugely underestimated, according to a "bombshell" new study released on Tuesday.


This is the dirty little secret of the “climate plan” Obama just announced: coal-fired power plants are to be replaced by plants using fracked natural gas. “Fugitive emissions” of methane from fracked gas make it worse than coal in terms of its greenhouse gas impact.

On paper, this move can look like a greenhouse gas cutback, but the accountants are cheating - deliberately not accounting for leaking methane.


Forget the Republicans. Their concepts of science can be likened to stone age mythology and magic (and of course they have their more cognitively advanced worship of money). I’d like to take the dissembling Obama by the collar and shout at him “Not more fossil fuel usage you jackass! Conservation. Do you know what the word means?”


This study requires that Obama stops fracking if and until it is shown to not cause climate change. Iran’s temperature hit an incredible 164 degrees:


Also see Killing Heat — It Felt Like 165 Degrees in Iran Today.

This heat wave, with 47% relative humidity, is pushing the wet bulb temperature close to 95 F (35 C) - the lethal threshold beyond which the human body is unable to cool itself through perspiration.


Big surprise - NOT.

Living and working in the fossil fuel basin of this country I can attest that the natural gas infrastructure has been leaking methane on a grand scale for decades, and the new gas boom is exacerbating this threat.

While working near one of the poverty-stricken Appalachian communities in southwest Pennsylvania I came across a gas transmission line that was leaking so badly that I heard it before I smelled it. I finished my work (very carefully, as I was alone in a remote part of the woods) and as soon as I acquired a cell signal began to try to report this serious leak. As it happened I remained in that locale for the remainder of the week and did not witness the gas transmission company attempting to correct that potentially explosive leak.

They could have no excuse: I supplied them not only with GPS coordinates, but the property parcel designations, as well as the owner’s names, and also the pipeline designations that should have led them there within hours.

All of my wanderings on foot in this part of the country revealed much the same. Well-heads, valve complexes, and pipeline interconnects all are enveloped in the sickening smell of the mercaptins put into the gas to warn of leaks. Worse still, because the fracking is going on before the pipeline infrastructure is in place, at least a half-dozen wells here were flared for days, some for weeks.

Yes sir buddy, clean, affordable natural gas. As the new gas boom got up to speed here some speculated on the fugitive emissions that might be occurring at the 5000 or so OLD wellheads from previous plays in West Virginia. Yes, 5000 or so old wellheads which the state did not accurately know the status of, and which in all probability were channeling and funneling new gas from the disturbances caused by fracking. This nation has a constellation of satellites at its disposal which can selectively image different parts of the spectrum in the atmosphere and on the ground, and I have often wondered if this capability could give us a picture of the regional methane concentrations.

By the way: The Attorney General of West Virginia is leading the charge to challenge the legality of this new gambit by the EPA. The phrases “global warming” or even “climate change” shall never cross this man’s lips.


DN segment today- Naomi Klein looking at efforts in Latin America to “operationalize” the pope’s encyclical on caring for the Earth and link to the English text of the encyclical LAUDATO SI’ - ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME


One wonders if this latest temperature reading in Iran, is not a precursor of what our planet is in store for… in the future! What will it take? Some world wide devastation of the climate where millions die, before there is any significant effort to get serious? Only one problem; by then it may be too late!


I think President Obama worships at the same church as the Republicans do.


Absolutely! As if the fix were not already in, and as if Obama did not already have information in hand that the “fracking boom” is BAD for the climate…

This new refutation of past low-ball figures for methane release should IMMEDIATELY STOP Obama’s ill-conceived “climate [in]action plan” to increase fracked natural gas.

No politician DARE utter any words about REDUCING energy use in the near term.


Gee, so only one brand of meter was used to measure methane, and till now no one knew it had a design flaw to under-report methane if it wasn’t constantly calibrated. And no ones in trouble. Hmmm


I fear millions have already died. I think it will take some rich white people dying.


He is a republi[con] neocon bankster. Fracking, offshore leases, infinite Wall Street QE. OCO(Overseas Contingency Ops) and black budget MIC funding increasing. He has been the dream GOP president. And the rest of us have been and are screwed.


One of the first things Nixon did was to " corrupt " the EPA in 1968. You can’t trust any of these people as they’re industry insiders and corrupt lifetime federal employees. That’s how it done in the nation’s capitol. The EPA has reviewed something like 8200 potentially toxic agents used by U.S. Corps. but issued only about 1100 reports and test results concerning these same toxic agents. They’re killing us and have been for a long time. Same as it ever was…


Why should anyone be surprised that a guy with the initials B.O is for more Methane? :slight_smile: I knew something smelled funny when he started farting about clean coal and then called for more drilling and fracking, all the while belching nonsense about lowering our carbon footprint or else. This guy has taken Newspeak to new levels of hypocrisy and irony.


Might that be at the Church of Short Term Profit?


I hope by conservation, you mean, things like, getting rid of frivolous jobs like, casinos, NASCAR RACING, professional sports, and a huge amount of ridiculous manufacturing of unnecessary products…even a lot of kids toys… we are so far behind the 8 ball on stopping runaway climate change… so, if that is what you mean by conservation then, I whole heartedly agree…but, if you are just talking about better fuel efficiency or electric cars… then, well, that is what I call tweaking… it would have been good 30-40 years ago… but it is too late to only rely on that now… and of course, getting rid of all those and other frivolous types of activities etc… would mean we would have to have different kind of economy… starting with debt for giveness for mortgages and handing out land grants for people to grow food for their neighbor hood… just for starters… you’d have to do the mortgage thing… because jobs would be hard to come by… so, you wouldn’t want millions of people kicked out into the street, now would we… including me… so, this is one way to also get rid of AGRIBUSINESS…


I am an accountant and I actually teach oil and gas accounting. The oil and gas industry has been cheating in accounting for years. Just read about “full cost” vs “successful efforts” accounting and FAS 69 which are the required disclosures in the upstream oil and gas industry. One other technique that is often used by the industry is splitting up their companies into many business units, that don’t make sense, the average accountant in the industry never sees the consolidation of the business units so they do not know how profitable it is. I consulted in one merchant energy company that had over 100 pages in their audited annual report, with an unqualified opinion, and could not determine how much they actually owed to outsiders. An example of a merchant energy company would be Enron.


“The study comes just a day after President Barack Obama unveiled his new climate plan, which calls for an increase in natural gas production to balance cuts in carbon emissions”.

…an increase in natural gas production to BALANCE cuts in carbon emissions…

Does anyone understand this?


Yup. Also know as the " Cathedral of profit mongers."