Startling increases in one of the main pollutants that cause global warming have been unexpectedly discovered over the United States – and the main suspect is the country’s booming fracking industry. New Harvard University research, drawing on satellite measurements, concludes that US emissions of methane – a much more powerful warming gas than carbon dioxide – have “increased by more than 30 per cent over the past decade”. The researchers say they “cannot readily attribute” the rise to any particular source but point out that US production of shale gas increased nine times during the same period, while other studies show that many fracking operations are emitting much more methane than has been officially recognised.
Independent 5th March 2016 read more »
THE company which attracted fierce opposition to its plans to extract coal gas from under the sea around Scotland has collapsed. Five Quarter, which was based in Newcastle and backed by the UK’s biggest private landowner, the Duke of Buccleuch, went out of business last week, blaming lack of government support. The news was welcomed by environmental groups as “another nail in the coffin” for underground coal gasification (UCG), an unconventional gas technology like fracking that has been stalled by a Scottish government moratorium on development. Five Quarter had been granted exploratory UCG licences for two areas in the Firth of Forth, one off Musselburgh and one in the centre of the firth. It also had a UCG licence in the Solway Firth. Another company led by the multi-millionaire oil tycoon, Algy Cluff, has UCG licences for three other areas around the Firth of Forth. But it has recently pulled back from its plans because of the moratorium.
Sunday Herald 6th March 2016 read more »