The gas industry is used to promoting itself as the cleanest of hydrocarbons. But its green credentials are increasingly under attack by environmentalists over methane emissions – a greenhouse gas that is, by some measures, far more potent than CO2. Increasingly, it is claimed that methane emissions from gas production and transport – and particularly fracking – practically cancel out the CO2 emission advantage of gas over coal. And, with the Obama administration in May announcing the first legislation specifically targeting methane, the industry is being forced to consider how to react to the issue. In this article we look at some of the facts – and uncertainties – around methane emissions, and examine how the industry is responding to the challenge.
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