GAS

GAS

Like coal and oil, natural gas is a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels (which we burn to power transportation, heating & cooling, and electricity) are non-renewable sources of energy formed in the earth over the past millions of years, typically from the remains of marine microorganisms and plants. Sealed off from oxygen and put under ever-increasing amounts of heat and pressure, this organic matter undergoes a thermal breakdown process that ultimately converts it to hydrocarbons.

The lightest of these hydrocarbons occur in a gaseous state known collectively as “natural gas,” which in its pure form is a colorless, odorless gas composed primarily of methane.

Natural gas currently supplies nearly 1/3 of the United States’ primary energy and is the primary heating fuel for approximately half of U.S. households.

Natural gas is a growing energy source — generating less carbon dioxide than coal when burned and cheaper than other fossil fuels.

It has been seen by many as playing a strategic role in the clean energy transition — a means to reduce both local air pollution and coal-associated carbon emissions, a means of quick-ramping dispatchable and reliable power, a plentiful, economically-attractive fuel. However, concerns about methane emissions and the overall carbon budget have called into question the future for gas.

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Is Natural Gas A Fossil Fuel? Here’s What to Know

02/18/22
Is natural gas a fossil fuel? The answer to this question is a bit complicated. Natural gas is, in fact, a fossil fuel, but it is not the same type of fossil fuel as coal…

creating safe, healthy & affordable communities through all-electric, Clean energy ​homes & buildings

02/02/22
The Building Decarbonization Coalition unites building industry stakeholders with energy providers, environmental organizations and local governments to power our nation's homes and workspaces with clean energy.

Pennsylvania State Energy Profile

10/21/21
Pennsylvania's marketed natural gas production, primarily from the Marcellus Shale, reached a record 7.1 trillion cubic feet in 2020, and the state is the nation's second-largest natural gas producer after Texas. Pennsylvania is the third-largest…

FracTrackerVideos

05/19/21
This video highlights FracTracker Alliance's current staff and why we do what we do.

Natural Gas

04/25/20
Natural gas is a vital component of the world’s supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources. Despite its importance, however, there are many misconceptions about…

Natural Gas

04/22/20
Natural gas is an abundant resource across the United States, and new discoveries and extraction methods have led to a dramatic rise in shale gas development -- making America the world’s leading natural gas producer.

What You Need To Know About Energy: Natural Gas

03/05/20
Natural gas provides 29% of our energy and is used to heat about half the homes in the United States. It is also a raw material in a variety of common products, such as paints, fertilizers,…

Natural gas explained

03/05/20
U.S. dry natural gas production in 2020 was about 33.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), an average of about 91.5 billion cubic feet per day and the second-highest annual amount recorded. Most of the production increases…

MORE NEWS

The Top Energy Stories Of 2020

by Robert Rapier  Illustration: Digital Montage   12/27/20  
Some years there is an energy story so big that there’s no question it belongs at the top of the list. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. …

Connecticut power plant proposal at odds with climate goals, critics say

By Lisa Prevost  Photo by Ron Gilbert   12/18/20  
As Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s climate council finalizes recommendations for how the state can meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals, state agencies are simultaneously overseeing final approvals for a new natural gas-fired power plant.

When Will Electricity Companies Finally Quit Natural Ga

By Justin Gillis and Michael O’Boyle  Photo: Simone Noronha   11/12/20  
As Americans suffer through immense wildfires, rising coastal flooding and an epic hurricane season, the nation’s corporations want you to believe they are coming to grips with the climate crisis.

Health and environmental experts are coming for your gas stove

By Hannah Sparks   10/29/20  
But natural gas combustion isn’t just bad for Earth’s atmosphere. Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit advocacy organization for sustainability, have revealed that toxins, such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, are collecting inside…

Study links fracking to airborne radioactive particles

By Dan Haugen   10/14/20  
A new study by Harvard scientists finds a significant increase in airborne radioactive particles downwind of fracking sites, with some of the biggest increases found in West Virginia.

New Study Casts Doubt On The Climate Benefits Of Natural Gas Power Plants

By Alexander C. Kaufman   10/09/20  
The emissions and methane leaks from new gas plants zero out the CO2 cuts achieved from closing coal plants, a peer-reviewed analysis found.

After promising a shift from fossil fuels, Omaha utility plans more gas plants

By Karen Uhlenhuth   10/08/20  
Nebraska’s second-largest utility last fall embarked on an initiative, dubbed Power with Purpose, that company leaders say will hasten the utility’s shift away from fossil fuels. However, fast-moving plans to develop two new natural gas…

Southern Company Net-Zero Implementation Plan Filled with Loopholes for Continued Use of Fossil Fuels

By Daniel Tate   09/24/20  
Southern Company released more information this week on how it plans to reach “net zero emissions,” and while the plan remains scant on key details, the company has made one thing clear: it is leaning into the…

Can Gas-Fired Power Plants Coexist With a Net-Zero Target? Yes, Southern Company Insists

By Jeff St. John   09/23/20  
Like many other utilities with similar decarbonization goals, Southern Company doesn’t yet see a clear path to eliminating natural-gas-fired power plants “unless and until technology emerges that can affordably and efficiently replace it,” CEO Tom Fanning said…

Big changes may be ahead for natural gas pipelines, if FERC does its job

By Jessica Bell   09/16/20  
The day of reckoning for new natural gas infrastructure is long overdue. As states and consumers turn towards cleaner sources of energy, we must ask what the place is for new pipelines.

Trump finalizes drilling plan for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

By Juliet Eilperin   08/17/20  
Plan clears the way for an oil and gas lease auction on the refuge’s 1.6 million-acre coastal plain by December 2021.

The Trump administration’s disastrous policy shift on methane emissions

By Editorial Board   08/14/20  
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S daily affronts to decency make it hard to focus attention on the substantive damage his administration is causing. But on Thursday, the administration announced a disastrous policy shift regarding methane emissions. The Obama…

Trump administration scraps limits on methane leaks at oil and gas sites

By Steven Mufson  Photo by Keith Srakocic   08/14/20  
The Trump administration is scrapping limits on methane leaks, allowing oil and gas companies to decide how much of the potent greenhouse gas can escape into the atmosphere from wells, pipelines and storage tanks.

Trump Eliminates Major Methane Rule, Even as Leaks Are Worsening

By Coral Davenport  Photo: Jessica Lutz for The New York Times   08/13/20  
The Trump administration formally weakened a major climate-change regulation on Thursday — effectively freeing oil and gas companies from the need to detect and repair methane leaks — even as new research shows that far…

E.P.A. to Lift Obama-Era Controls on Methane, a Potent Greenhouse Gas

By Coral Davenport   08/10/20  
The reversal is the latest move in the Trump administration’s ongoing effort to weaken environmental rules, but it could be quickly undone after the November election.

California greenlights ‘Orwellian’ solar-powered fracking scheme

By Steve Horn   08/06/20  
California-based multinational oil company Chevron landed two rounds of drilling permits from Gov. Gavin Newsom this summer—evidence, climate advocates say, that Newsom is not committed to tackling the climate crisis.

2 Million Wells Leak Methane, Causing Warming

By John Englander   07/13/20  
Methane also enters the atmosphere directly, particularly as the planet warms. As in the second image above there is now a vast string of gigantic craters across Siberia where methane from the thawing permafrost has…

The next energy battle: Renewables vs. natural gas

By Ivan Penn  Photo: Ting Shen for The New York Times   07/07/20  
As coal declines and wind and solar energy rise, some are pushing to limit the use of natural gas, but utilities say they are not ready to do so.

The Next Energy Battle: Renewables vs. Natural Gas

By Ivan Penn  Photo: Ting Shen , The New York Times   07/06/20  
Dominion Energy, one of the nation’s largest utilities, in late June erected wind turbines off the Virginia coast — only the second such installation in the United States — as part of a big bet…

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy cancel the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

07/05/20  
Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) and Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) today announced the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (“ACP”) due to ongoing delays and increasing cost uncertainty which threaten the economic viability of the project.

Fracking Giant Chesapeake Energy Files for Bankruptcy

By Eoin Higgins   07/01/20  
Climate advocates pointed to news Sunday that fracking giant Chesapeake Energy was filing for bankruptcy as further evidence that the fossil fuel industry's...

Satellites reveal major new gas industry methane leaksS

By Shadia Nasralla  Photo by Reuters   06/26/20  
The find, which has not been reported, is part of a growing effort by companies, academics and some energy producers to use space-age technology to find the biggest methane leaks as the potent heat-trapping gas…

Special Report: Millions of abandoned oil wells are leaking methane, a climate menace

By Nichola Groom  Photo by Brian Woolston   06/17/20  
In May 2012, Hanson and Michael Rowe noticed an overpowering smell, like rotten eggs, seeping from an abandoned gas well on their land in Kentucky. The fumes made the retired couple feel nauseous, dizzy, and…

Air pollution from fracking killed an estimated 20 people in Pennsylvania from 2010-2017: Study

By Kristina Marusic  Photo: Kristina Marusic/EHN   06/05/20  
Particulate matter pollution emitted by Pennsylvania's fracking wells killed about 20 people between 2010 and 2017, according to a soon-to-be-published study.Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of...

The Williams fracked gas pipeline in New York has been stopped!

By Richard Brooks  Photo: Erik McGregor   05/15/20  
We did it!  Another pipeline has just been defeated, thanks to people power. After years of campaigning, the New York State Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC) announced their denial with prejudice of the key water…

Natural Gas Exports Slow as Pandemic Reduces Global Demand

By Clifford Krauss  Photo: Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times   05/11/20  
Businesses in the United States, Israel and other countries were planning to invest billions in export terminals. Now, those projects are being canceled or delayed.

Berkeley became first US city to ban natural gas. Here’s what that may mean for the future

Photo by Alamy Stock Photo   05/09/20  
Although Berkeley may be pushing the vanguard, the city is hardly alone. Governments across the US and Europe are looking at strategies to phase out gas. In California alone, dozens of cities and counties are…

Methane Emissions Hit a New Record and Scientists Can’t Say Why

By Eric Roston and Naureen S Malik  Photo by Angus Mordant   04/07/20  
Airborne methane levels rose markedly last year, according to a preliminary estimate published today by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The results show a dramatic leap in concentration of the second most-powerful greenhouse gas, which is…

New 3D View of Methane Tracks Sources and Movement around the Globe

By Ellen Gray  Photo: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio   03/23/20  
NASA’s new 3-dimensional portrait of methane concentrations shows the world’s second largest contributor to greenhouse warming, the diversity of sources on the ground, and the behavior of the gas as it moves through the atmosphere.…

How death and disaster followed the shale gas boom in Appalachia

By Ritoban Mukherjee   02/28/20  
In the past decade, fracking has contributed to the deaths of more than a thousand people and the emission of more than a thousand tons of...

Oil and Gas May Be a Far Bigger Climate Threat Than We Knew

By Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo by Gabriella Demczuk   02/19/20  
Oil and gas production may be responsible for a far larger share of the soaring levels of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in the earth’s atmosphere than previously thought, new research has found.

The Forbes Investigation: How Bloom Energy Blew Through Billions Promising Cheap, Green Tech That Falls Short

By Christopher Helman   02/13/20  
Bloom has never generated a profit, despite at least $1.7 billion of invested capital, some of which was raised on the back of false statements.

Could 2020 Determine Fracking’s Future?

01/28/20  
With mounting evidence of health and environmental impacts, fracking faces opposition from many of the leading Democratic candidates for president. ...

Renewable natural gas? Yes, it’s a thing, and now Philly residents can get it

By Catalina Jaramillo   01/27/20  
Philadelphia residents have long enjoyed a number of different options when it comes to choosing who supplies the natural gas that runs through the Philadelphia Gas Works pipelines into every house in the city.

Gas Exports Have a Dirty Secret: A Carbon Footprint Rivaling Coal’s

By Catherine Traywick , Stephen Cunningham , Naureen S Malik , and Dave Merrill  Photo by Brendan Smialowski   01/24/20  
In May, while President Donald Trump toured a new $10 billion plant designed to prepare natural gas for export, he made a vow. Such facilities would be good for the environment, he said, or they…

Arizona Public Service sets 100% clean energy target, but doesn’t rule out carbon capture for gas plants

By Robert Walton  Photo by Alan Stark   01/23/20  
Arizona Public Service (APS) on Wednesday announced it would aim to deliver 100% carbon-free energy by 2050, with a near-term target of 45% renewables by 2030. The utility also plans to end all coal-fired generation…

After a Decade of Fracking, Billions of Dollars Lost and a Climate in Crisis

By Sharon Kelly   01/21/20  
The new year started amid devastating wildfires, tied to the worst droughts Australia has experienced in hundreds of years, which encircled much of the continent. So far, 29 people have been reported dead.

To Fight Climate Change, One City May Ban Heating Homes With Natural Gas

By Mike Baker  Photo by Ruth Fremson   01/06/20  
As a progressive-minded city nestled where the Cascade mountains reach the sea, Bellingham, Wash., has long been looking to scale back its contribution to climate change. In recent years, city leaders have converted the streetlights…

Permian gas problem just gets worse as shale drilling slows down

12/26/19  
America’s top shale field is becoming increasingly gassy as drilling slows down, undercutting profits for explorers at a time when investors are demanding better returns.

Natural gas production headed for a slow-down in 2020

12/25/19  
Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia accounted for one third of the country's shale gas production in 2019.

The Weekend Wonk: Tony Seba on EVs and Energy Disruption

12/20/19  
Ive been waiting for a new presentation by Tony Seba  this one is from October of this year. Seba is such an over-the-top techno-optimist that his presentations in past years have left me charged…

DEP estimates proposed methane regs will reduce methane emissions from oil & gas by 75,000+ tons per year

12/20/19  
The Department of Environmental Protection estimates the proposed methane regulations approved by the Environmental Quality Board for comment will significantly reduce methane emissions and volatile organic compound emissions....

A Methane Leak, Seen From Space, Proves to Be Far Larger Than Thought

By Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters   12/16/19  
The first satellite designed to continuously monitor the planet for methane leaks made a startling discovery last year: A little known gas-well accident at an Ohio fracking site was in fact one of the largest…

Natural Gas Boom Fizzles as a U.S. Glut Sinks Profits

By Clifford Krauss  Photo: Keith Srakocic/Associated Press   12/11/19  
Chevron’s multibillion-dollar write-down of gas assets is the most recent sign that the gas supply has far outstripped demand.

The Gas Industry’s Bid To Kill A Town’s Fossil Fuel Ban

12/08/19  
Brookline, Massachusetts, passed a measure prohibiting new oil and gas pipes, the first on the East Coast. ...

California Ramps up Fossil Fuel Fight With Ban on Fracking

11/20/19  
California Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed new restrictions on oil exploration in his state yesterday by putting a moratorium on hundreds hydraulic fracturing permits until the projects...

Natural Gas or Renewables? New Orleans Choice Is Shadowed by Katrina

By Ivan Penn   11/08/19  
Susan Guidry stepped up as a volunteer in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, helping clear debris from the streets as part of a group calling itself the Katrina Krewe. She saw firsthand the disaster’s toll,…

It’s a Vast, Invisible Climate Menace. We Made It Visible.

By Jonah M. Kessel and Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters   11/08/19  
Immense amounts of methane are escaping from oil and gas sites nationwide, worsening global warming, even as the Trump administration weakens restrictions on offenders.

3rd Circ. Gives States Extra Weapon To Fight Gas Pipelines

09/11/19  
As the Trump administration moves to limit states' ability to review and potentially block interstate gas pipelines, the Third Circuit gave states a powerful backup option to veto projects in a ruling that pipeline developers…

Curbs on Methane, Potent Greenhouse Gas, to Be Relaxed in U.S.

By Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport   08/30/19  
The Trump administration laid out on Thursday a far-reaching plan to cut back on the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.