Chart: EPA’s Own Data Blows Away Claims That Natural Gas Causes Global Warming

(Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Green claims that America’s natural gas boom is contributing to global warming just got blown away by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data.

The Sierra Club and other enviromental groups have long claimed that the environmental advantages of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are negated by increased methane emissions.

The EPA states that only carbon dioxide contributes more to global warming than methane, which is responsible for 10 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA own data shows that methane emissions have declined as fracking increased natural gas production, but the enviromental agency still wants to regulate methane to reduce global warming.

“EPA claims that methane rules are needed to address climate change, yet the rule the agency is proposing would avoid a mere 0.004 degrees of warming by 2100,” Dr. Katie Brown, a spokeswoman for the energy industry group Energy In Depth, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Meanwhile, natural gas is the reason the United States has achieved such dramatic reductions in greenhouse gases, and EPA’s costly rules could end up curtailing progress. So is this really about emissions?”

The biggest cause of declining carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is America’s fracking boom, not solar or wind power, according to a study published last November by the Manhattan Institute.

The study shows that solar power is responsible for a mere 1 percent of the decline in American CO2 emissions, while natural gas is responsible for nearly 20 percent. U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 1,022 million tons, making them significantly lower than their peak in 2007. For every ton of carbon dioxide cut by solar power, fracking has cut 13 tons.

“The transition from coal to natural gas for electricity generation has probably been the single largest contributor to the … largely unexpected decline in U.S. CO2 emissions” says Berkeley Earth, concurring with more formal assessments from the Department of Energy.

The U.S. has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than in any other country, a fact which even The Sierra Club acknowledges, though they refuse to attribute the decline in emissions to natural gas that they oppose politically.

The enviromental regulations green groups want to place on methane would also be incredibly expensive for the average American.

“President Obama’s plans to add costly new regulations on methane when emissions are already falling could harm America’s shale energy revolution that has lowered energy costs for American consumers by $700 a year at the pump and $1200 in home utility bills,” Kyle Isakower, the vice president of regulatory and economic policy at the American Petroleum Institute wrote, in a Thursday press release.

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