New Report Reveals Methane from Fracking as More Dangerous Than Carbon Dioxide, Biggest Climate Threat; #DontFrackOurClimate Campaign Announced
NEW YORK – As the People’s Climate March approaches, experts, community leaders and actor, director and anti-fracking activist Mark Ruffalo called on President Obama Tuesday to ban fracking as a new report highlights the devastating climate effects of methane gas emissions from fracking.
“The industry has successfully spun fracking as good for the climate, but the science shows it’s anything but,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “If President Obama wants to be a leader in curbing the global climate crisis, he can’t continue to ignore the climate-related effects of methane from fracked gas. The science is now clear that natural gas dependence causes much more global warming than previously thought.”
This call for a ban comes just days before the People’s Climate March and U.N. Climate Summit in New York City, where environmental activists from around the country, including Ruffalo, will decry methane as the new carbon dioxide. Americans against fracking also announced a social media campaign that will launch before the march called #DontFrackOurClimate.
“Climate change is the challenge of our lifetimes, and millions of lives and future generations depend on us meeting that challenge,” said Mark Ruffalo, actor, director, anti-fracking activist and Americans Against Fracking advisory board member. “By banning fracking, we can move forward with clean energy, the power of the 21st century, and create twice the amount of jobs in the renewable energy sector. We already have the technology; we can make this change today. We need the will and the political leadership. It’s past time for President Obama to abandon his disastrous ‘all-of-the-above’ energy plan and instead provide real leadership by boldly investing in renewable energy and making the United States the renewable energy capital of the world.”
Americans Against Fracking member organization, Food and Water Watch, released The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking Tuesday. The report lays out the most comprehensive scientific research related to fracking and its harmful effects on climate, water, air and communities to date. Not only has fracking been linked to earthquakes, groundwater contamination, birth defects and health issues, but the massive amount of methane leaked in the process is more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. The report makes the case that sound climate policy cannot ignore the detrimental effects of methane leaked from the fracking process on our climate.
“Everything that comes before and after fracking is an opportunity for methane to be emitted. There is far more methane getting into the atmosphere than we thought, and the impact of methane on climate change is much higher than we thought,” said Dr. Tony Ingraffea, scientist and engineer at Cornell University. “If we don’t halt the production of shale gas, and slow down the release of unburned methane, we’ll be committing climate suicide. There are no borders for methane, we are all downwind, and one state’s methane isn’t just contained to that state. The only way to stop it is to halt shale gas production.”
Specifically, the report finds that natural gas dependence causes more global warming than thought:
- The primary hydrocarbon in natural gas is methane, a potent greenhouse gas, which leaks in large amounts from the well site, from compressor stations and from beneath city streets.
- According to estimates based on atmospheric measurements, natural gas leakage amounted to more than 3 percent of consumption in 2010.
- On a 20-year timeframe, the conservative scientific consensus is that methane from drilling and fracking traps 87 times more heat than carbon dioxide, pound for pound.
- The International Energy Agency estimates that increased global dependence on natural gas would lead to an increase in the global average temperature of about 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2035, from pre-industrial times — a drastic increase that risks irreversible climate tipping points and abrupt changes in ecosystems
“Gas wells are like chimneys in the earth, and what they leak goes straight into our atmosphere,” said Dr. Sandra Steingraber, science advisor to Americans Against Fracking and national expert on climate change at Ithaca College. “Fracked gas wells leak heat-trapping methane into the atmosphere, which cripples any chance we have to combat climate change – unless we halt fracking. We’ve underappreciated just how powerful a greenhouse gas methane is. That’s why we’re calling methane the new carbon dioxide.”
For more information on the climate change and public health effects of fracking, click here for a full copy of the report.
Contact: Olamide Noah, [email protected], 310-701-8476
Americans Against Fracking is composed of the following groups: www.americansagainstfracking.org/members/. For more information about Americans Against Fracking, visit www.AmericansAgainstFracking.org.