Methane is leaking out all over the damn place, thanks to the oil and gas industry

Posted: December 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Grist

Methane, the second most common greenhouse gas emitted by the U.S., is a scary, scary thing. Thanks to two new studies, we just found out a bit more about how, through drilling for oil and gas, it leaks into the air.

Compared with CO2, methane is frighteningly potent — it’s 86 times more effective at trapping heat than CO2 over a 20-year time period. Even though the EPA estimates that methane is only 9 percent of the greenhouse gas cocktail the U.S. is tossing into the sky, the Environmental Defense Fund estimates that methane is responsible for around 25 percent of the human-made global warming we’re experiencing. The biggest source of methane emissions? The oil and gas industry, of course.

The first new study, put out by Princeton University and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that millions of unused oil and gas wells across…

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