President Obama and his environmental advisers touted natural gas as a "bridge energy source far cleaner than coal" and readily available in the shale formations in the US as the answer to the problem of weaning us off of Oil and Coal into a future of solar, wind, biomass, geo thermal, and hydrogen energy sources. This optimism spawned a massive upsurge in drilling and fracking for natural gas.
IMAGE of the UNITA BASIN Fracking Sites
The caution in this has been tied to the proposition that natural gas or methane would be contained and not allowed to leak into the atmosphere in amounts under 3% of the total gas being trapped and put into the nationwide system of pipes and transfer stations ending up at the consumers residence or business. The EPA has "guessed" from mainly using industry information, that the leakage total was less than 2%. That estimate is now seriously in question.
This weeks edition of YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY Episode 6 shows the actual testing for leaks in Colorado, Utah and Los Angeles and gives us an up front first hand view of leakage from 11% in Colorado to 17% in Los Angeles.
Even if we were willing to believe that leakage in Pennsylvania or Arkansas and elsewhere across the US was less prevalent it would take almost zero leakage in those other areas to offset the massive leakage in the three tested areas. But researchers in Washington DC have discovered 6,000 leaks in the Nation's capital aging gas lines.
Leaks in Boston - Scientists have mapped 3500 leaks in the Boston Area.
When considering the million miles of corroding pipe and connections under the pavement in urban areas across the country the tested areas in DC and BOSTON are not outliers. They are the norm and carbon dioxide is typically painted as the bad boy of greenhouse gases, methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas, says Science Daily
"Although carbon dioxide emissions still pose a greater problem given its long atmospheric lifetime, global methane levels have climbed to 16% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Even more problematic is methane’s potency: by weight, methane can trap 30 times more heat than carbon dioxide."Previous posts in this series have shown the Methane disaster waiting to happen as the Arctic warming and ice melt leads to the release of tons of methane in the permafrost in the region. 5 gigatonnes is the estimate of methane in the atmosphere as of a couple of years ago with an estimated 100 gigatonnes trapped in the Arctic seabed and permafrost. So a release of just 5% of that amount would double the amount of the more dangerous Greenhouse gas in our atmosphere - and we haven't even considered what all this natural gas drilling and fracking is doing along with the massive leaks in the infrastructure.
This is a methane time bomb going off in slow motion before our eyes. For a civilization on the brink of an energy crisis this aspect of tons of methane leaking into our atmosphere seems so absurd. How can anyone afford that waste even if it wasn't such a problem as a greenhouse gas. Are we so incredibly incompetent that we can't see the problem when it's a direct drain on the income of the gas production industry? Something must change in our consciousness.
One obvious impediment to that change of consciousness is revealed in the Years of Living Dangerously Episode 6. His name is JAMES E TAYLOR and he is the lawyer - mouthpiece for The Heartland Institute and ALEC The American Legislative Exchange Council
The HEARTLAND INSTITUTE is famous for their campaign to show "scientific proof" that Smoking tobacco is good for you.
If you saw the movie THANK YOU FOR NOT SMOKING - you would know about the MOD Squad - Merchants of Death - 3 people who lobby for Tobacco, Firearms and Alcohol in Congress and joke about their tactics. The Aaron Eckhart character in the movie must be cloned from James E Taylor. Fairly attractive and personable adept talkers who can speak complete and absolute lies that can easily cost 1000's of lives - without the slightest compunction to feel badly about it. That makes them soulless psychopaths and this guy is clearly of that ilk
Of course the truth is that not one legitimate climate scientist signed the Oregon Petition This OBVIOUS FRAUD funded by EXXON is just another absurd battle in the ongoing war to warn the public about the problem and to promote solutions.
YES I DO MEAN TERRORIST. Here is a man who is dedicated to telling outrageous lies on behalf of the KOCH BROTHERS and EXXON in a 100 million dollar terrorist campaign that will cost the lives of 1000's of people as Global Warming causes a sea level rise that will lead more powerful hurricanes and storms. Those storms will push elevated sea levels into coastal cities in disasters that will dwarf Katrina or Sandy. The people of Miami, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington DC and Los Angeles - just to name a few in the USA will likely see property damage and loss of life that could well include loved ones and children. And this is a face you can blame along with the KOCHs, Rubio, James Inhofe, and Rand Paul.
JAMES E TAYLOR