Gas not so clean

The Times Tribune - Letter to the Editor

By Scott Cannon, Plymouth

July 9, 2015

Editor: The Times-Tribune editorial “Shift in power,” which was published July 1, mistakenly labels natural gas as clean energy source.

To be sure, natural gas emits less carbon dioxide than coal, but leaks of methane — a greenhouse gas and the primary component of natural gas — are so rampant throughout the natural gas supply chain that it is estimated that gas may actually be worse than coal for our climate. And, of course, whenever methane leaks it is accompanied by other harmful air pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, which contributes to smog, and benzene.

Pennsylvania doesn’t have any regulations in place to stop these leaks, and although the industry consistently tries to argue that voluntary emissions limits will solve the problem, the evidence suggests otherwise. Earlier this year, the state Department of Environmental Protection released an inventory showing that most methane emissions reductions occurred from regulated sources, while most emissions increases came from unregulated sources. If Pennsylvania is serious about climate and the transition to clean energy, it should invest in zero-emitting sources while enforcing tough regulations on methane leaks from natural gas.

Read the full letter here

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