Proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations intended to lower methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to fight global warming would only lower the temperature by 0.0047 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, according to calculations performed Monday by the industry group Energy In Depth (EID).
The EPA’s proposed rules would have essentially no impact on global temperatures, only causing a temperature drop of 0.0047 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. The rules would make it hard to produce natural gas, which would likely increase other greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming.
The EID calculations and research cited several scientific studies to support the idea that methane emissions from the entire natural gas system are very low and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. Oil and natural gas production of methane is not to blame for the global spike in emissions, according to a study published in the journal Science in March and American greenhouse gas emissions of all types are broadly declining, largely due to fracking.
Even the EPA has noted that rising natural gas use is reponsible for falling greenhouse gas emissions, saying in an April report “a decrease in the carbon intensity of fuels consumed to generate electricity has occurred due to…increased natural gas consumption and other generation sources.”
The EPA’s own data shows that methane emissions have declined as fracking increased natural gas production, but the environmental agency still wants to regulate methane to reduce global warming.
The EID and EPA’s conclusions directly contradict those of The Sierra Club and other environmental groups, which have long claimed that the environmental advantages of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are negated by increased methane 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 environmental regulations green groups want to place on methane would also be incredibly expensive for the average American.
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