Clean and Green

Natural Gas is Cleaner

Natural Gas Is The Clean Way To Fight Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Smog, Acid Rain, And Poor Air Quality

While anti-energy activists are going around doing and saying whatever they want to reduce America’s reliance on natural gas and increase our dependence on foreign oil imports, there’s one thing they cannot deny:

Natural gas is the cleanest, most abundant, most affordable energy option this country’s got right now – in no small part thanks to what’s happening in the Barnett Shale, where there’s enough gas to generate 300 years of electricity in Texas!

So while this little group of activists is tossing around a bunch of half-truths, here’s the whole truth that Texans need to know:

  • Natural gas reduces greenhouse gas emissions.  Burning natural gas gives off about 30 percent less carbon dioxide than oil, and just under 45 percent less than coal.
  • Natural gas is better for the air. Emissions of particulates from burning natural gas are 90 percent lower than from burning oil, and 99 percent lower than burning coal.
  • Natural gas reduces emissions that cause acid rain. Burning natural gas gives off next to nothing in the way of sulfur dioxide and as much as 80 percent less nitrogen oxides than burning coal. So increasing our use of natural gas could decrease the kinds of emissions that cause acid rain.
  • Natural gas doesn’t contribute to smog. Since natural gas emits low levels of nitrogen oxides and hardly any particulates, it’ doesn't contribute significantly to smog formation. That means it can be especially helpful in places like Fort Worth, where ground-level air quality is an issue.
  • Natural gas gives off fewer pollutants. When natural gas is burned for things like generating electricity or in industrial boilers, it releases lower levels of nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, and other particulates – and barely any sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions.
  • Natural gas is a cleaner fuel option for transportation. Here’s what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has to say about natural gas as a transportation fuel: When compared to typical vehicles, running vehicles on compressed natural gas results in reduced carbon monoxide emissions of 90 to 97 percent and reduced carbon dioxide emissions of 25 percent.
  • Natural gas represents a “bridge to a low-carbon future.” Activists keep talking about a low-carbon future. Well, natural gas is the way to get there. Ernest Moniz, director of the MIT Energy Initiative, says a study from his group confirms that “natural gas truly is a bridge to a low-carbon future.”


Natural Gas is Greener

Drilling In The Barnett Shale Is Safe And It Protects
The Environment

There’s no doubt that shale gas development in the Barnett is being done more safely than ever, and that the companies working here are helping to preserve and protect our natural resources. As citizens who support a clean environment, we want to make sure drillers continue to operate in a responsible way. But we also believe that opponents have made a lot of false claims and distorted the truth about just how safe drilling is. The facts speak for themselves.

  • Investing in environmental protection. Since 1990, the natural gas industry has spent $194 billion improve its environmental performance.
  • Proven protection. When the Ground Water Protection Council studied whether there was any environmental risk with hydraulic fracturing, it found one complaint in over 10,000 coal bed methane wells reviewed – and the EPA had already said that was not a fracturing problem. Right after that, the EPA did its own study. Once again, it didn't find any significant environmental risks from proper hydraulic fracturing.
  • Safe for Texas. After hearing complaints about drilling in the Barnett Shale, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality surveyed 100 natural gas facilities. They didn’t find any cause for concern about potentially harmful materials being released.
  • Safe for Fort Worth.  A huge air quality study done for the City of Fort Worth in 2011 found no health concerns from natural gas drilling.
  • A history of safety and protection. Hydraulic fracturing has been around for more than 60 years. In all that time – and after being used in more than 1 million operations – there hasn’t been once single proven incident where it’s harmed drinking eater.
  • Minimal water impact. While anti-fracking activists raise fears about the amount of water used in the process, the 3,500 shale wells drilled in the United States used only about 0.02 percent of total water used in the country.
  • A mile of rock-solid protection. Although opponents say it could contaminate aquifers that supply drinking water, hydraulic fracturing occurs below drinking water aquifers, separated by a mile or more of impenetrable rock.
  • Increased recycling. In many cases, more than 70 percent of the wastewater used in fracking operations can be recycled.
  • Technologies that protect. The drilling industry uses high-tech infrared cameras that can find even the smallest leaks and special valves that cut down the already-low levels of emissions even more. Drillers also apply what’s called voluntary “green completion methods” that help grab just about every single molecule of methane possible. And remote technologies allow for shutting down activity at a site the second an issue pops up.
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