The UK policy on fracking is really, really stupid!
“They are taking ethane, turning it into a liquid, transporting it across the sea in a container, turning it back into a gas and then pumping it into Grangemouth.
“Just beneath Grangemouth are deposits of shale gas the Scottish Government is saying you can’t touch.”
Fracking is evil says a ‘scientific’ study… oh wait. The conclusions have been reversed. And the paper retracted. Read more here.
The authors of two environmental papers, including one about the effects of fracking on human health, have retracted them after discovering crucial mistakes.
One of the studies reported an increased level of air pollution near gas extraction sites, and the other suggested that 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico contributed to air contamination.
According to the corresponding author of both papers, Kim Anderson at Oregon State University, the journal plans to publish new versions of both papers in the next few days. In the case of the fracking paper, the conclusions have been reversed — the original paper stated pollution levels exceeded limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for lifetime cancer risk, but the corrected data set the risks below EPA levels.
The fracking paper received some media attention when it was released, as it tapped into long-standing concerns about the environmental dangers of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which extracts natural gas from the earth. A press release that accompanied the paper quoted Anderson as warning:
Air pollution from fracking operations may pose an under-recognized health hazard to people living near them.
Both papers, published in Environmental Science and Technology, were retracted on the same day (June 29), both due to mistakes in reported levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pollutants released from burning oil, gas, and other organic matter.
Fracking has really dropped the price of natural gas in the USA leading to major switch from coal to natural gas in power plants.
But China is resisting this change because of costs.
China’s effort to promote natural gas over coal to cut pollution is facing resistance from buyers who prefer cheaper to cleaner. The world’s largest energy consumer seeks to raise the share of less-polluting natural gas to 10 percent of its energy mix by 2020 from 6 percent last year. Yet even with the government cutting the cost of gas, it remains almost three times more expensive than coal when used to generate electricity. That’s putting a damper on the switch from a fuel that now accounts for more than 60 percent of demand.
Electricity generated from gas costs almost three times that from coal — about 0.6 yuan a kilowatt-hour in eastern China, while coal-fired output costs 0.22 yuan.
The Shanghai city-gate price — a wholesale cost of gas delivered to distributors — was cut in November to 2.18 yuan a cubic meter. That’s about $9 per million British thermal units, compared with $2.039 for U.S. benchmark prices and $4.24 in the U.K. as of Thursday.
Fracking is amazing.
A new report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has pushed carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation to the lowest levels since 1993.
Fracking created immense amounts of natural gas, lowering the price and causing the amount of electricity generated from natural gas to pass the amount of electricity generated from coal for seven of the months in 2015, according to the new EIA report. The report specifies that natural gas power plants produce about 40 percent of the CO2 emitted from a coal plant creating the same amount of electricity. This caused U.S. CO2 from the electricity sector to fall by 21 percent since their high in 2005.
“[T]he drop in natural gas prices, coupled with highly efficient natural gas-fired combined-cycle technology, made natural gas an attractive choice to serve baseload demand previously met by coal-fired generation,” read the report. “Coal-fired generation has decreased because of both the economics driven by cost per kilowatthour compared to that of natural gas and because of the effects of increased regulation on air emissions.”
It appears that fracking is causing a split in the green movement. Its about time.
If you are sane and you read the studies you know that fracking and cheap natural gas has actually lowered CO2 emissions in the USA by a significant amount by replacing coal.
“In 2015, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were 12% below the 2005 levels, mostly because of changes in the electric power sector.
Energy-related CO2 emissions can be reduced by consuming less petroleum, coal, and natural gas, or by switching from more carbon-intensive fuels to less carbon-intensive fuels. Many of the changes in energy-related CO2 emissions in recent history have occurred in the electric power sector because of the decreased use of coal and the increased use of natural gas for electricity generation.”
Back to the green war …
Anti-fracking environmentalists, led by 350.org, Greenpeace and The Sierra Club, claim that natural gas is actually accelerating global warming more than coal due to methane emissions, even if it does cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These activists heavily doubt the official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) figures on methane leaks, largely because of an article published by Bill McKibben, the leader of 350.org.
Pro-fracking environmentalists, led by The Breakthrough Institute, point out that McKibben misrepresented the scientific research on methane emissions to attack fracking. These environmentalists point out that a study published in the journal Science in March blames agricultural practices, not oil and natural gas, for increasing methane emissions. The same study points out that the American greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming are declining largely due to fracking.
The split in the environmental movement has led to a green civil war over proposed EPA regulations intended to lower methane emissions from fracking. These regulations, however, would only lower the temperature by 0.0047 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, according to the EPA’s own data.
The anti-fracking zealots have done so much harm in most of Europe. In Canada and the USA fracking took off before the anti-frackers could get organized. The UK may (if it is lucky) win its fracking war (many years late).
They were researching fracking in Ohio and trying to find evidence of contaminated ground water.
They didn’t find any evidence.
The donors who were are all in favor of the research when it looked like they could demonize fracking stopped the funding.
However, Townsend-Small said in an email Monday to The Daily Signal, those decisions not to donate more might be because the study didn’t establish a relationship between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and water contamination in Carroll County and other areas that include the Utica Shale deposit.
Townsend-Small also said the results “show that fracking does not always lead to groundwater contamination, but that continuous monitoring is needed to ensure contamination has not occurred.”
“The left likes to continually talk about settled science, but often it’s settled on a predetermined outcome,” Nick Loris, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation who studies energy issues, told The Daily Signal. “Politicians use that predetermined outcome to justify policies that drive up the costs of affordable, reliable energy—even though those policies have little to no environmental benefit.”
The Daily Signal sought comment from the Deer Creek Foundation on why it decided to stop funding the fracking study in Ohio, but its executive director did not respond.
“A new study published today in the journal Science shows that fossil fuels are not the cause of increasing levels of methane in the atmosphere, but rather from agriculture. The study, conducted by National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and led by Hinrich Schaefer, concludes that since 2007, the most likely cause of increased atmospheric methane comes from agricultural practices, and not from fracking or fossil fuel production.”
According to Schaefer, the NIWA team found they could distinguish three types of methane emissions. “One is the burning of organic material, such as forest fires,” he said. “Another is fossil fuel production – the same processes that form natural oil and gas – and the third is formed by microbes which come from a variety of sources such as wetlands, rice paddies and livestock.”
The team found that the “source of the increase was methane produced by bacteria, of which the most likely sources are natural, such as wetlands or agricultural, for example from rice paddies or livestock.” They were surprised to discover that fossil fuel production was not the source of the increased methane and ruled it out. They call the post-2006 rise in methane primarily microorganisms (biogenic), were coming from outside the Arctic, and were “more consistent with agriculture than wetlands.”