Watch This Pennsylvania TV Station Explain How Natural Gas Leaks Accelerate Climate Change

From the May 17 edition of WGAL's News 8 at 6:00:

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MIKE STRAUB (WGAL government reporter): [Pennsylvania] runs on gas. We are now second in the nation in natural gas production, and the gas the industry is moving, compressing, and fracking is primarily methane.

JOHN QUIGLEY (Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection): By virtue of that fact we are releasing an immense amount of methane into the atmosphere. 

STRAUB: Yes, releasing. See, as natural gas works away from deep underground to all the way out of our state, a little bit leaks out along the way. But with so much gas in Pennsylvania, all those leaks turn out to be not so little.

QUIGLEY: If you just applied one percent to the 14 trillion cubic feet that we produced in 2015, that’s over 600,000 tons of methane.

STRAUB: Here’s the problem: In the atmosphere, methane has 84 times more climate warming power than carbon dioxide, and 600,000 tons of methane released is the equivalent of burning 5.4 billion gallons of gasoline. And if all that gas didn’t leak away, companies could sell it for $90 million. But it’s the climate effects that might be the most alarming. A Penn State study says our state’s average climate will rise by 5.4 degrees by 2050. 

QUIGLEY: It means Philadelphia will feel like present-day Richmond, Virginia. It will mean that Pittsburgh will feel like Washington, D.C. And ski resorts in Pennsylvania are past the tipping point. They will not be viable by the middle of the century. 

STRAUB: So as the gas leaks out, the industry is starting to feel the heat.


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