Tired of hearing the “natural gas” greenwashing? Yes, most of that gas (methane) now derives from hydraulically fractured gas fields. Because methane has about 85 times the global warming potential as CO2, reducing upstream methane leaks is critical to fighting our climate change crisis. But besides the upstream pipeline and infrastructure leaks, studies at NASA and other groups are finding anomalously high methane concentrations near fracking fields. With all the exemptions and secrecy in the industry, an accurate picture of the leaks is problematic.
There is a little “renewable natural gas” or RNG being produced, and that is what you’re buying if you select NW Natural’s “Smart Gas” option. RNG is produced from landfills (including the Roosevelt landfill), water treatment plants, or manure digesters. If you can afford it, by all means buy the Smart Gas because it lets you burn the carbon-neutral methane instead of letting it escape to the atmosphere.
That said, the near-term expansion of facilities that transport or use fracked gas would only increase our greenhouse gas emissions! Here’s a list of the proposed fracked gas projects in the Northwest:
Methanol Refinery in Kalama – largest in the world
Coos Bay Jordan Cove – largest dredging project and biggest co2 emitter in Oregon
We must stop these projects.