Cornell Professor says Shale Gas still a GHG Problem even with new EPA Rules

by Duane Nichols on April 25, 2012

Fracking Maverick Unmoved by EPA Air Rule

Bob Howarth is sticking to his guns. The Cornell University professor, who enrages America’s booming natural gas industry by arguing that shale gas from fracking emits at least as many greenhouse gases as coal, is not swayed by the EPA’s latest regulations designed to cut methane emissions from natural gas operations.

While the new rules are designed to reduce methane emissions from shale gas by a third, that wouldn’t stop the natural gas industry being the largest U.S. emitter of methane, contributing 40 percent of the total, or bring its GHG emissions below those of coal, Howarth argued, as he has done since 2010.

Although the cut in emissions of methane – a potent greenhouse gas – required by the EPA’s final rule would be significant, it wouldn’t fundamentally change his argument that shale gas doesn’t in fact have the GHG-reduction benefits claimed by its backers, Howarth told AOL Energy.

“When considered over the critical 20-year integrated time period after emission, the greenhouse-gas footprint of shale gas would still be substantially worse than that of coal,” he wrote in an email.

See the full story from AOL Energy here:

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