Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

President Obama, Fracking is Part of the Climate Change Problem, Not Solution

Climate

Earthworks

By Jennifer Kril

Increased natural gas and oil development is part of the climate change problem, not the solution.

President Obama should know this. His own agencies are effectively telling him so. 

NOAA studies based on actual measurements of methane emissions from natural gas development, transport and consumption, report that the methane leakage rate is much higher than commonly assumed. It’s so high, in fact, that natural gas—from gas well to consumption—is more harmful to climate than coal because methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

And the President’s Climate Action Plan reads, “Curbing methane emissions is critical to our overall effort to address global climate change.”

Yet, later in the same plan the President promotes the increased use of natural gas—mentioning it in the same breath as renewables.

The recent shale gas boom is made possible by hydraulic fracturing. And at the same time shale gas’ methane leakage problem is increasing climate change, this boom is also depleting the precious water resources that are being made increasingly scarce by climate change. And communities are paying the price. For example, drilling-impacted Texans are increasingly concerned about the millions of gallons of water necessary to frack each well, with some towns starting to run dry.

All of the above” may have been a winning energy campaign strategy. But climate change doesn’t answer to campaign contributors.

Instead of pushing for more oil and gas drilling, the solution to catastrophic global warming is as obvious as the problem: encourage the use and development of conservation and renewables, and discourage the use and development of fossil fuels.

And it’s not just environmentalists that think so. A recent report by U.S. military advisors stated our choice clearly:

Our consumption of oil and other fossil fuels contributes to climate change, which poses growing risks to our infrastructure, livelihoods, and national security. Using more natural gas and oil, even if domestically produced, neither frees our economies from global oil prices nor checks the greenhouse gas emissions that threaten future generations. The only sustainable solution to this dual challenge is to improve our energy efficiency and diversify our energy sources to include cleaner and renewable power.

The President has an important choice to make. He can choose to ignore science—as climate change deniers still do—and support dirty fossil fuels like fracking-enabled oil and gas development, and the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Or he can follow common sense, and his own scientists, and shift the resources and brainpower that have supported dirty energy to instead encourage the use of conservation and renewables.

The right choice is clear as the clean energy future we all are looking for.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Click here to tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Lit candles, flowers and signs are seen in front of the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, Poland on May 31, 2020. Aleksander Kalka / NurPhoto / Getty Images

As protests are taking place across our nation in response to the killing of George Floyd, we want to acknowledge the importance of this protest and the Black Lives Matter movement. Over the years, we've aimed to be sensitive and prioritize stories that highlight the intersection between racial and environmental injustice. From our years of covering the environment, we know that too often marginalized communities around the world are disproportionately affected by environmental crises.

Read More Show Less
Sockeye salmon are seen swimming at a fish farm. Natalie Fobes / Getty Images

By Peter Beech

Using waste food to farm insects as fish food and high-tech real-time water quality monitoring: innovations that could help change global aquaculture, were showcased at the World Economic Forum's Virtual Ocean Dialogues 2020.

Read More Show Less
Shanika Reaux walks through the devastated Lower Ninth Ward on May 10, 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana, after her home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Mario Tama / Getty Images

The big three broadcast channels failed to cover the disproportionate impacts of extreme weather on low-income communities or communities of color during their primetime coverage of seven hurricanes and one tropical storm over three years, a Media Matters for America analysis revealed.

Read More Show Less
Several drugmakers and research institutions are working on vaccines, antivirals and other treatments to help people infected with COVID-19. krisanapong detraphiphat / Moment / Getty Images

Researchers at the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced yesterday that it will start a trial on a new drug designed specifically for COVID-19, a milestone in the race to stop the infectious disease, according to STAT News.

Read More Show Less
The Sumatran rhino is one of 515 endangered species of land animals on the brink of extinction. Mark Carwardine / Photolibrary / Getty Images

The sixth mass extinction is here, and it's speeding up.

Read More Show Less
People are having a hard time trying to understand what information is reliable and what information they can trust. Aekkarak Thongjiew / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Cathy Cassata

With more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and more than 100,000 deaths from the virus, physicians face unprecedented challenges in their efforts to keep Americans safe.

They also encounter what some call an "infodemic," an outbreak of misinformation that's making it more difficult to treat patients.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Workers clean up a crude oil leak from a pipeline in Minnesota in 2002. JOEY MCLEISTER / Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Trump administration has finalized a rule making it harder for states and tribal communities to block pipelines and other infrastructure projects that threaten waterways.

Read More Show Less