Friday, April 15, 2016

Has fracking really reduced greenhouse gases in U.S.?

A publication in NEWSMAXFINANCE states that hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas drilling (fracking) is the primary reason of  recent reduction in GHG emissions in the U.S. The author argues that fracking produces massive amounts of natural gas, and, as a consequence, natural gas prices have fallen in the past decade from above $8 per million BTUs to about $2 this year, what led America to use more natural gas instead of significantly much more carbon intensive coal. However this statement contradicts with results of an international scientific studies,
published in  the journals Nature  and Scientific American . Despite natural gas combustion produces only half of the direct CO2 emissions of coal for each unit of energy, the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions – that is the combined emissions associated with extraction, combustion, and methane and CO2 releases – means that fracked gas can be as dirty as coal.  Above this, sharp gas price drop leads to an overall increase in energy consumption and in emissions. Read more at, and