Many landfills (garbage/waste) that are filled to capacity are covered over with soil and then pipes are inserted throughout to let out the methane gas. Cattle also expel huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Yup, America...the shining city upon the hill (lit by the methane gas torches, perhaps) pointing fingers while masquerading as holier-than-thou innocents.
Tom, it seems to me that when flared, methane (CH4) combusts into CO2 & H20 (also both GHGs) which reduces/avoids workplace explosions while eliminating CH4's 80x more powerful heat-trapping. It's the escaped CH4 from well heads and leaky pipes & valves that, going unflared, causes more warming. And Seatower rightly notes that GHGs (green house gases) could also stand for Guernsey Holstein Gases.
Flaring does reduce the GHG burden that would result from direct emission of unburned "natural gas" (primarily methane).
Which by no means makes either fracking or "conventional" oil and gas into anything but massive ecological crimes.
Ol' McConnell had a farm,
e, i, e, i, o,
with a frack frack here,
and a frack frack there,
here a frack,
there a frack,
everywhere a frack, frack, ...
We just gotta do sumthin about all those flatulent cows. When you take into consideration all the escaped fracked gas is methane any cleaner than coal? Go solar and leave the poison in the ground. Is it really that hard. Seems that the state of Nevada needs to protect traditional power sources from the threat caused by personal solar production.
You'll notice the term carbon is most often used as synymous with greenhouse gases. Thare are "carbon offsets." We hear about "carbon sequestration." Even the term "carbon footprint." Obana always talks about "carbob pollution."
But we have to include methane in the climate change conversation too. And when we do, tge picture created requires more drastic action.