New Marcellus development boom will triple greenhouse gas emissions from PA's natural gas

January 18, 2017

Bristol, PA - Natural gas production on Pennsylvania's vast black shale deposit known as the Marcellus Shale will nearly double by 2030 to meet growing demand, tripling Pennsylvania's greenhouse gas emissions from the natural gas sector relative to 2012 levels, according to a report published today by Delaware Riverkeeper Network. The increase in greenhouse gas emissions will remain steady through 2045 with continued shale gas development, projects the report, "Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Projected Future Marcellus Development."

Broad scientific evidence has demonstrated that the emission of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide is accelerating the warming of the Earth's climate. The report, produced by the nonprofit research institute PSE Healthy Energy, measures projected greenhouse gas emissions from the development of Marcellus shale gas reserves in Pennsylvania by calculating the total life-cycle emissions -- accounting for drilling as well as factors such as infrastructure construction and fuel transport. Researchers based production projections on well quality data and documented levels of demand.

To meet projected demand, 1,600 to 2,000 new shale gas wells will need to be constructed each year, researchers say -- nearly doubling Marcellus production by 2030 over 2014 levels. As these new wells come on line, climate-impacting emissions from the sector -- primarily methane -- will increase 50% to 87% over 2014 levels. These emissions are at least three times that of Pennsylvania's natural gas emissions in 2012, the baseline year for recently proposed federal greenhouse gas reduction measures. Researchers note that the new projected development would constitute a second drilling boom for Pennsylvania.

"A tripling of Marcellus-related greenhouse gas emissions will dramatically increase Pennsylvania's contribution to the region's climate impact -- it's an alarming finding in the context of new federal climate goals, which, under the Paris climate agreement, aim for a nationwide reduction of all greenhouse gas emissions to 12% below 2012 levels by 2025," said report author Renee Santoro, director of PSE's Energy and Environment Program. "Pennsylvania itself is supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation by 23% by 2030." And while production will occur within Pennsylvania's borders, Santoro adds, new pipeline infrastructure is expected to be the main driver of a second Marcellus boom and will carry a majority of the newly produced fuel across state boundaries, where end-user combustion will increase nationwide greenhouse gas emissions. "The climate doesn't really care about state boundaries," she says.
For a copy of the report go to:

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is a nonprofit organization working throughout the four states that comprise the Delaware Watershed -- Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York -- using actions, regulations, legislation, policies and programs to protect and restore the watershed.

Physicians, Scientists and Engineers (PSE) for Healthy Energy is nonprofit research institute dedicated to supplying evidence-based scientific and technical information on the public health, environmental and climate dimensions of energy production and use.

PSE Healthy Energy

Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions Articles from Brightsurf:

Using materials efficiently can substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions
Emissions from the production of materials like metals, minerals, woods and plastics more than doubled in 1995 - 2015, accounting for almost one-quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide.

Climate change: Ending greenhouse gas emissions may not stop global warming
Even if human-induced greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced to zero, global temperatures may continue to rise for centuries afterwards, according to a simulation of the global climate between 1850 and 2500 published in Scientific Reports.

Climate-friendly Cooling Could Cut Years of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Save US$ Trillions: UN
Energy-efficient cooling with climate-friendly refrigerants could avoid up to 460 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas equivalent being added to the atmosphere through 2060 - roughly equal to eight years of global emissions at 2018 levels.

Forests can be risky climate investments to offset greenhouse gas emissions
Given the tremendous ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some governments are counting on planted forests as offsets for greenhouse gas emissions -- a sort of climate investment.

Switching from general to regional anaesthesia may cut greenhouse gas emissions
Switching from general to regional anaesthesia may help cut greenhouse emissions and ultimately help reduce global warming, indicates a real life example at one US hospital over the course of a year, and reported in the journal Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.

Women generate lower travel-related greenhouse gas emissions, NZ study finds
Women use more diverse modes of travel and generate lower greenhouse gas emissions than men, despite men being more than twice as likely to travel by bike, a New Zealand study has found.

Great potential in regulating plant greenhouse gas emissions
New discoveries on the regulation of plant emissions of isoprenoids can help in fighting climate change - and can become key to the production of valuable green chemicals.

Cable bacteria can drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rice cultivation
The rice fields account for five percent of global emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, which is 25 times stronger than CO2.

Sugar ants' preference for pee may reduce greenhouse gas emissions
An unlikely penchant for pee is putting a common sugar ant on the map, as new research from the University of South Australia shows their taste for urine could play a role in reducing greenhouse gases.

Seeking better guidelines for inventorying greenhouse gas emissions
Governments around the world are striving to hit reduction targets using Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines to limit global warming.

Read More: Greenhouse Gas Emissions News and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to