Methane leakage: potentially worse global warming potential than coal.

TreeAlert (no-url): “Deep inside a Department of Energy study lies a finding showing how burning exported American natural gas may not be any better than using Chinese coal.”
“On the surface, the report paints a favorable picture of natural gas, but when the Energy Department’s estimates for methane leakage are examined, a different story is revealed. The study assumes that gas pipelines and the production process only leak at rates of 1.2 to 1.6 percent, even though a multitude of studies have estimated leakage to be occurring at much higher rates. In fact, a comprehensive Stanford University meta-analysis of 200 natural gas studies settled on a high-end estimate of 7.1 percent leakage—nearly six times greater than DOE’s most conservative estimate. Since natural gas is mostly methane, which traps 34 times more heat than carbon dioxide, even small leaks mean big changes for the climate. In the wake of the Obama Administration’s new proposed carbon pollution standards for existing power plants and the so-called “War on Coal,” this study comes as a sharp reminder that natural gas can’t won’t be a climate savior—and is, more likely than not, a bridge to nowhere.”