Is natural gas really a clean fuel?

“Natural gas is marketed as a clean fuel with less impact on global warming than oil or coal, a transitional fuel to replace other fossil fuels until some distant future with renewable energy. Some argue that we have an obligation to develop Marcellus Shale gas, despite environmental concerns. I strongly disagree.

“Natural gas as a clean fuel is a myth.”

- Cornell professor: “Gas and drilling not clean choices”

See also Cornell scientist tarnishes natural gas’s clean image

and http://un-naturalgas.org/weblog/2009/03/if-2-leaks-the-co2-impact-of-natural-gas-is-the-same-as-burning-coal/

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http://www.weny.com/News-Local.asp?ARTICLE3864=9148471

Corning Gas Pipeline Leaking for 2 Years
Patrick Card
October 13, 2009

Caton, NY — A Caton man says a gas pipeline running through his property has been leaking for almost two years.

Gary Jellifs told WENY-TV News that the pipe was fixed once but started leaking again just a few months later.

Now he says Corning Gas Company is unwilling to fix the pipe because the company has bigger problems to deal with.

“You guys are our last option. We called everybody. We went through the proper channels. We called the gas company. We called the fire department. We called the state organizations and you guys are our last chance,” Jellifs said.

“People need to know these gas lines are dangerous. Somebody needs to do something,” he added.

The pipe can be heard bubbling underneath the surface and natural gas is visibly escaping from the hole in the ground.

Corning Gas Vice President of Operations Matt Cook admitted it has known about the leak for years and have largely ignored it because of more pressing concerns.

But he also claimed they are among the best in New York State at replacing old pipeline.

“We’re replacing pipes with new more modern material in order to prevent leaks from occuring and to eliminate any existing leaks that are out there.”

Video thumbnail. Click to play

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How long can you live with a problem while you struggle to enforce the terms of your “good” lease? Yup, that one, the one with all the protections – protections that are only as good as your ability (read money) to enforce them.


The company gets to deduct its “production” (imagine what that term could encompass) and transportation costs from your royalty payments. You don’t get to recoup your legal costs on top of your royalties.

What will you have left when the fight’s over?

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PA DEP Investigating Natural Gas Well Leak In Lycoming County

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa., July 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is investigating a natural gas well leak at an East Resources well in McNett Township, Lycoming County.

“East Resources is cooperating fully with our investigation, and has already implemented measures to stop the leak,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell. “DEP staff will continue to work closely with East Resources and local emergency responders to ensure the safety of nearby residents.”

DEP was alerted to the problem last week by a citizen who reported discoloration of water in a tributary to Lycoming Creek and in a nearby spring. DEP staff investigated on July 24 what was then a suspected sediment problem in the creek.

On Monday, DEP received a report of possible natural gas bubbling from the tributary. DEP staff collected water samples from the spring and the tributary. Those samples are being analyzed for methane and other parameters in the department’s laboratory in Harrisburg. DEP staff confirmed the bubbling in two Lycoming Creek tributaries earlier today.

East Resources personnel monitored 18 private water wells in the nearby area that same day, and are providing water to four homes. They also monitored methane levels in the homes.

East Resources has three wells in the area, which are in the Oriskaney [sic] geologic formation, and not in the Marcellus Shale area. Two of the wells are drilled and completed, but not yet in service due to the lack of gathering lines in the area. The third well was previously plugged and abandoned.

East Resources began flaring the Delciotto #2 well on Monday to reduce pressure from the natural gas, and is currently working to flare the other two wells. The company is investigating the possibility that a casing failure in part of the Delciotto #2 well caused the natural gas leak. The company is attempting to seal off the leak with drilling mud to stop the natural gas from escaping.

CONTACT: Daniel T. Spadoni (570) 327-3659

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

- http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/07-28-2009/0005067720&EDATE=

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July 8, 2009 -  A landscaper’s backhoe struck a gas well in Mayfield Heights, near Cleveland, Ohio, forcing the evacuation of apartments and businesses,  according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and News Channel 5.  According to a spokesperson for NEOGAP, the accident occurred during the routine process of “reclaiming” the well site – that is, regrading and seeding.

According to the Plain Dealer, a woman who answered the phone at Bass Energy Co, the well owner, hung up on a reporter.  Video shot by Newsnet 5 shows the vice president of Bass Energy ripping the mic from a reporter’s hand and throwing it away in the parking lot, after the reporter followed him to his car to get a comment.

Story:

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/07/gas_leak_in_mayfield_heights_f.html

Story and video:

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/19991581/detail.html

Food for thought:

Were you under the impression that if you live in a town, you don’t have to worry about being affected by the natural gas industry?

Why do states  allow gas wells – an obvious hazard – to be developed in densely populated residential neighborhood and commercial areas?

When the neighborhood opposed the well (see video) why were its concerns ignored?

Do you think your state and regulating agencies are really looking out for you and your community?

Do gas companies make good neighbors?

Do you want the hazards of a gas well near you?

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shopping-center-explosion

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http://cms.firehouse.com/content/article/article.jsp?sectionId=46&id=63728
FORESTVILLE, Md. – Five firefighters and one gas company employee were burned in an apparent natural gas explosion at a shopping center in Forestville. Some were seriously burned, but they have not said if any of the injuries were life threatening. All six have been transported to the Washington Hospital Center’s burn unit.

As many as a dozen were injured, the other six were hit by shrapnel from the explosion.

According to Prince George’s County Fire and EMS spokesperson Mark Brady, the fire department received a call around 12:30 p.m. Thursday for a report of a natural gas leak. They arrived at 3426 Donnell Drive and evacuated the building. Sometime after that, the explosion occurred.

Brady reports that a flash fire burned the firefighters and gas company employee. The building was heavily damaged, so no one has been able to go in and search to make sure everyone got out. Brady says they are hoping everyone was taken out in the initial evacuation.

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Please bear with the intro commercial…

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Modified from a post on MarcellusGasInfo:

The following is an outline from James Lovelock’s book, Revenge of Gaia, pages 74-76.  Lovelock is a member of Britain’s Royal Society (a scientific body) and originator of the Gaia theory, which postulates that the atmosphere, oceans,  and biosphere (all life)  compose a single system that regulates the Earth’s climate.
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To reduce global warming, governments welcome the chance to burn natural gas instead of coal or oil.

The main constituent of natural gas is methane – one molecule is composed of 1 carbon and 4 hydrogen atoms.

For the same amount of energy, methane combustion releases only 1/2 as much carbon dioxide as burning oil or coal.

Unfortunately, some natural gas leaks into the air before it is burned. Society of Chemical Industry’s 2004 report indicates 2%-4% of natural gas is lost to leakage.  Most of the leakage is at production sites, but leakage also occurs in pipelines and in our homes.

Methane is 24 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Methane has a shorter residence time in the air: 8% oxidizes each year.

In 12 years, only 37% of escaped methane remains, the rest having oxidized into carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Carbon dioxide has an effective residence time in the air of between 50 and 100 years.

If only 2% (the conservative end of the 2-4% estimate) of natural gas leaks before burning, it causes, over a period of 20 years, a peak global warming equal to coal burning.

If 4% leaks, natural gas causes 3X more warming than coal burning over a 20 year period.

The claim that natural gas halves carbon dioxide emissions is only true if there are no leaks anywhere (and also if the CO2  emissions from the very hydrocarbon-consumptive extraction process is not factored in).

Difficult to find estimates of natural gas leakage.  An April, 2004 article in the journal Nature estimates 1.4% leakage from Russian piplines and 1.5% from US pipelines.  This report does not include leakage at production sites or when the gas is burned.

Failure to consider the effects of natural gas leakage on global warming is a serious gap in our knowledge.  The International Panel on Climate Change(IPPC) should study this phenomenon further.

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