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It turns out I was right to be sceptical about the Howarth study
claiming that shale gas production produces more greenhouse gases
Ther's now a definitive study here thoroughly debunking Howarth and showing
that shale gas results in 54% less GHG production. Howarth claimed
that the gap between gas produced and gas sold indicated leakage.
Instead it indicates usage in powering equipment.
This is Howarth's second big mistake. His first last year was to
assume that coal mining produced no methane.
Using a 100-year global warming potential and
assuming an average power plant, unconventional gas results in 54%
less lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than coal does. Even using
a 20-year global warming potential, as Howarth controversially
argues one should, the savings from substituting unconventional gas
for coal are almost 50%. The NETL study acknowledges - and explores
- a range of uncertainties. But it finds nothing close to the
problems that Howarth claims.