Scientists Say Methane Leakage In North Dakota Alone Equals CO2 Pollution From 2.5 Million Cars

Because of fracking you can see North Dakota's gas flares from space at night.

Research conducted at Cornell University proved that methane, the second most important gas contributing to global climate change, is 33 times more potent than CO2 over a 100 year period or 105 times more powerful over a 20 year period. In other words, short term releases of methane can do more damage than CO2 emissions. The researchers found that between 3.6% and 7.9% of methane from shale gas production escapes to the atmosphere in venting and leaks over the lifetime of a well.

Though widespread testing is only now getting underway, where it has been done the scientists conducting the tests are reporting alarmingly high methane emissions underscoring questions about the environmental benefits of the boom in natural-gas production. One set of results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah show an eye-popping 9% of the total production. Why is 9% important? Because electricity generated from natural gas from a field with 9% leak has a carbon footprint nearly five times that of coal-generated electricity. It is now estimated that methane emissions from shale gas are nearly 30 times more than those of conventional gas over the lifetime of a well.

Obviously methane leakage is a huge problem for the fracking fraternity. Leakage occur during normal operations, such as drilling, processing, transmission, and distribution of shale gas. As the fuel is transported through normal procedures, emissions occur both through intentionally made vents and non-intentional leakages. Venting is a necessary procedure involving the "continuous bleed" of gas from devices that control gas flows, levels, temperatures, and the exertion of pressure on equipment. Unintentional leakage occurs in all parts of the infrastructure, from connections between pipes and vessels to valves and other equipment. Then there's fugitive leakage - the unknown unknown.

Just how much fugitive methane bubbles up through the fractured rock into our aquifers, into our wells, into our air trough surface cracks isn't systematically tested, but the results so far are frightening. The MSM's focus is on the 'investment' aspect surrounding BC's LNG boondoggle but in reality the biggest losses won't be to the investor class they'll be to everybody else. Not only will BC's LNG nightmare not be profitable, not only will it poison Canada's water, but it already is releasing millions of tons of heat trapping gasses that will, over time, contribute heavily to our rising sea levels, to compromising our food supply and causing massive species extinction [including perhaps our own] through ocean acidification.

Why? Why would they do it? Why would our government and business leaders continue this march into this quagmire? Many jaded skeptics, like mr.mud, conclude one of the oldest known political/economic metrics - the KBF [kick back factor] - is at work in BC's boondoggle and most others like it around the world.