"Gas Leaks in Fracking Disputed in Study"

"Drilling for shale gas through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, appears to cause smaller leaks of the greenhouse gas methane than the federal government had estimated, and considerably smaller than some critics of shale gas had feared, according to a peer-reviewed study released on Monday."

"The study, conducted by the University of Texas and sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and nine petroleum companies, bolsters the contention by advocates of fracking — and some environmental groups as well — that shale gas is cleaner and better than coal, at least until more renewable-energy sources are developed. More than 500 wells were analyzed.

The Texas study concluded that while the total amount of escaped methane from shale-gas operations was substantial — more than one million tons annually — it was probably less than the Environmental Protection Agency estimated in 2011."

Michael Wines reports for the New York Times September 16, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Fracking May Emit Less Methane Than Previous Estimates" (Climate Central)

"Study Revises Estimate of Methane Leaks From US Gas Fields" (Nature)

"Gas Drilling Study Paints Different Picture Of Fracking Methane Emissions" (Associated Press)

Source: NY Times, 09/17/2013