Methane Leakage and Climate Impacts

Yesterday, Cornell climate scientists Bob Howarth and Tony Ingraffea presented an update on the climate science of methane. Their conclusions are stark: given the short timeline to act on climate, we can’t just regulate fracking.

To prevent climate tipping points, we need to stop fracking completely.

The scientists’ conclusions include:

1) The EPA is underestimating the short-term warming of methane by 4-fold.
2) The EPA is severely underestimating methane leakage in the US by 8-fold.
3) Methane leakage is coming from a variety of sources associated with fracking, including venting (“blowdowns”), methane that escapes during drilling, and even leakages from “capped” wells.
4) Without accounting for methane, the Obama climate action plan will not significantly reduce the US contribution to climate change.

The science is clear. We need to act NOW and rapidly transition to renewable energy. Energy Justice is Climate Justice, and we must demand nothing less.