Errant methane plumes detected over Marcellus wells
Using an airplane to detect greenhouse gas emissions from freshly drilled shale gas wells in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus basin, Cornell and Purdue scientists have found that leaked methane is a tougher problem – between a hundred- and a thousandfold – than previously thought, according to a study published April 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“We found significant leaks during the drilling phase. It was bigger than we anticipated,” said paper co-author Jed Sparks, Cornell professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “With increased methane into the atmosphere, the climate gets warmer faster, and early on it has a more intense effect on the whole climate.”
the costs of hydraulic fracturing far outweigh any short-term benefits, to a literally sickening degree