Tags: Global Warming | Global Warming | Fracking | Climate Change | Environment

Is Fracking a Catalyst for Increasing Global Warming?

By    |   Friday, 27 Mar 2015 01:46 PM

Fracking appeared to hold the promise of reducing carbon emissions into the air to slow global warming. The process consists of injecting liquid into the ground and rocks to open fissures and extract gas or oil.

It seemed like a great way to diminish dependency on coal-burning plants, a major cause of pollution and the effects on climate change. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect because America suddenly became the world's biggest producer of oil, thanks to fracking.

With the huge supply of oil, gas prices began plummeting in late 2014. So people began driving more, burning more fuel, and the global warming effects continued.

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"Society is certain to extract more gas and oil due to fracking," according to Stanford University environmental scientist Robert Jackson, who led a 2014 study that discovered the ironic results, according to EurekAlert.org. Fracking has initial positive effects on the environment, but people now must figure out a way to keep down emissions, he said.

Although fracking could help natural gas to displace coal and reduce greenhouse gas, that is "not the only effect," noted Haewon McJeon, a scientist with the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. There is also the human behavior of consuming more fuel with cheaper prices, he said.

John Weyant, a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford agreed, but pointed out it could make climate policy easier with the addition of abundant gas, reports Discovery News.

The cycle of new technology, cheaper fuel and more fuel burning has angered many environmentalists who see fracking as another climate change nightmare.

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Natural gas is mostly methane, and fracking only "speeds up human-caused climate change," according to Joe Romm, founding editor of Climate Progress. The methane leaks from natural gas could cause more harm to the environment, making the switch from coal-burning plants irrelevant, he wrote.

Methane "is at least 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a cause of climate change,"  maintained Daniel Jacobson, state director of Environment California. Fracking only delays the global warming problem, or could make it worse by ignoring the focus of using renewable energy sources to improve the environment, he writes in The Sacramento Bee.

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition in the United Kingdom has reached the same conclusion because fracking distracts from transitioning to a low-carbon energy system through renewable alternatives. "It compromises our commitments to climate action," it stated to the Climate Coalition website.

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Fracking appeared to hold the promise of reducing carbon emissions into the air to slow global warming. The process consists of injecting liquid into the ground and rocks to open fissures and extract gas or oil.
Global Warming, Fracking, Climate Change, Environment
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2015-46-27
Friday, 27 Mar 2015 01:46 PM
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