From the Cheap Seats: Fracking Critics Full of Hot Air

April 1, 2013
By

Worries about how modern advances are fracking up the atmosphere are, in a word, bogus

President Lyndon Johnson supposedly said that when he lost Walter Cronkite, he lost the Vietnam War.

We might soon find out what will happen now that rabid environmentalists have lost the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

It’s become an article of faith among the rabid enviros that hydraulic fracturing causes more greenhouse gases to enter the atmosphere than conventional drilling. The belief is what fires up all the fanning of fears of fracking.

Even though hydraulic fracturing has contributed to sharply reduced emissions of carbon dioxide from North America, the enviros can’t give up the fearmongering.

But now MIT has gone all heretic. Kind of like Galileo.

According to an MIT study, extracting natural gas from shale using hydraulic fracturing turns out to emit but a fraction more gas into the air than conventional gas drilling.

“Taking actual field practice into account, we estimate that in 2010 the total fugitive (greenhouse gas) emissions from US shale gas-related hydraulic fracturing amounted to 216 (gigagrams of methane). This represents 3.6% of the estimated 6002 (gigagrams of methane) of fugitive emissions from all natural gas production-related sources in that year … Thus under a goal of GHG reduction it is clear that increased efforts must be made to reduce fugitive losses from this system. However, it is also clear is that the production of shale gas and specifically, the associated hydraulic fracturing operations have not materially altered the total GHG emissions from the natural gas sector.”

In other words, worries about how modern advances are fracking up the atmosphere are, in a word, bogus.

But you knew that already.

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