A new report from the Environmental Integrity Project says that projects that have been proposed over the last two years to transport shale gas or use it as a feedstock or fuel in industrial processes could increase greenhouse gas emissions by 91 million tons - equal to the emissions from 20 coal-fired power plants.
The shale gas boom has unleashed a tidal wave of proposals to build new compressors and pipelines, and expand chemical, fertilizer, and petroleum plants that depend on natural gas for feedstock or fuel. Since January 1, 2012, these industries have proposed or already obtained Clean Air Act permits that authorize a 91 million ton increase in greenhouse gas emissions — as much as the output from twenty large (500 megawatt) coal-fired power plants. This total does not include new emissions from proposed gas-fired power plants or the multitude of smaller wells, gas processing plants, compressor stations, and flares springing up across the landscape in shale-gas rich states like North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Texas.The true climate impact of the shale gas revolution is complicated. This sobering report points out further complications from natgas transmission and downstream use.