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.



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

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

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

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…


This video highlights FracTracker Alliance's current staff and why we do what we do.

Natural Gas

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

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

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

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…


Fracking boom tied to methane spike in Earth’s atmosphere

By Stephen Leahy   08/15/19  
Scientists have measured big increases in the amount of methane, the powerful global warming gas, entering the atmosphere over the last decade. Cows or wetlands have been fingered as possible sources, but new research points…

Fracking and Shale Drilling Caused Spike in Climate-Warming Methane Pollution

By Sharon Kelly  Photo by EcoFlight, CC BY 2.0   08/14/19  
Climate-changing pollution reached unprecedented levels in 2018. That's both judged against the last 60 years of modern measurements and against 800,000 years of data culled from ice cores, according to the U.S. government’s State of…

The Leaks That Threaten the Clean Image of Natural Gas

By Rebecca Elliott   08/08/19  
U.S. energy companies are scrambling to reduce methane emissions—both unintended and deliberate—that equate to exhaust from 69 million cars a year and contribute to global warming

FERC creates new liquid natural gas division, Houston office

By Kevin Randolph   07/25/19  
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Neil Chatterjee announced Tuesday that the commission is creating a new Division of LNG Facility Review & Inspection (DLNG) in its Office of Energy Projects.

As Coal Fades in the U.S., Natural Gas Becomes the Climate Battleground

By Brad Plumer   06/26/19  
America’s coal-burning power plants are shutting down at a rapid pace, forcing electric utilities to face the next big climate question: Embrace natural gas, or shift aggressively to renewable energy?

How Democrats came to oppose natural gas

By Amy Harder   06/25/19  
Plenty of Democrats have supported natural gas as a way to kick coal out of the U.S. energy mix over the past several years, but that’s rapidly changing.

Explosions rock East Coast’s biggest refinery

By Mike Lee, Mike Soraghan and Hannah Northey   06/21/19  
Explosions and fire tore through a historic refinery on the south side of Philadelphia this morning, shaking houses in the surrounding neighborhoods and sending a fireball into the sky.

US power sector carbon emissions rise as natural gas outpaces renewables: Ceres

By Catherine Morehouse  Photo by Depositphotos   06/17/19  
The coal industry continues to tumble in the U.S. as electric power plants turn increasingly to natural gas and renewable energy as their fuels of choice. And that decline might only worsen for coal mining…

Natural Gas Now Beats Coal, Even in West Virginia

By Justin Fox   05/24/19  
The famously coal-centric state is in the midst of a gas-drilling boom but seems ambivalent about it. Wouldn’t you be?

Opinion: Fix trade secret law to protect precious water from fracking

By Elliot Fink   05/24/19  
If the public is going to have a robust debate about the merits of fracking, both sides need to know what's being pumped into the ground.

National Grid says no new NYC gas customers until state approves pipeline

By Iulia Gheorghiu  Photo: Southern Environmental Law Center   05/22/19  
New York has been undergoing several decarbonization efforts in the transportation, heating and power sectors. However, while utilities have been encouraged to focus on non-pipeline infrastructure solutions, slowing down the conversion of customers to natural…

Corroded Well Lining Caused Aliso Canyon Gas Leak That Displaced Thousands, Report Says

By Mihir Zaveri   05/17/19  
For more than 100 days in 2015 and 2016, gas leaked out of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility near Los Angeles — the largest known leak of methane in United States history. More…

Trump promotes natural gas as it gets caught up in U.S.-China trade war

By Dino Grandoni   05/15/19  
It is supposed to yet again be Infrastructure Week. President Trump went down to southwest Louisiana to talk up his administration's effort to open U.S. natural gas to international markets.

Fracking can cause earthquakes tens of kilometers away – new research

By Gillian Foulger   05/08/19  
New research has now linked distant earthquakes to fracking, providing evidence that much larger areas surrounding sites may be at risk from drilling operations than previously demonstrated.

‘Virtually No Risk of Drilling Restrictions,’ West Virginia Official Tells Fracking-Reliant Petrochemical Industry

By Sharon Kelly   04/12/19  
This week, at an industry conference focused on wooing petrochemical producers to West Virginia, officials from the state and federal government made clear their support for continuing fracked shale gas extraction and petrochemical industry development…

Trump Signs Orders to Speed Up Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction

By Clifford Krauss   04/10/19  
President Trump signed two executive orders on Wednesday that he says will speed up construction of pipelines and other projects to enhance the production and transport of oil and natural gas between states and across…

Con Ed Cuts Off New Gas Hookups in New York Suburb

By Debra West   03/21/19  
Across the suburbs north of New York City, clusters of luxury towers are rising around commuter rail stations, designed to lure young workers seeking easy access to Manhattan. In all, 16,000 apartments and condominiums are…

A Fracking-Driven Industrial Boom Renews Pollution Concerns in Pittsburgh

By Nick Cunningham   03/21/19  
Once known as the Steel City, Pittsburgh is shedding its polluted past and embracing a rebirth built on health care, education, and technology. But the region’s surging fracking industry is attracting a $6 billion ethane…

Duke 15-year plans lean heavy on gas to replace coal

By Robert Walton   09/10/18  
Duke Energy has filed a pair of integrated resource plans (IRP) with North Carolina regulators, sketching a 15-year resource plan that adds significant new solar resources but continues to lean heavily on natural gas-fired generation…

In Fracking’s Wake: Vast Open Pits of Chemical Sludge

As oil and gas drilling has spread across the United States, scant attention has been paid to air emissions from the waste the boom has created.

Living with Fracking in Washington County, Pennsylvania

By Anna Belle Peevey   11/16/17  
A pivotal EPA study published in 2004 provided the scientific rationale for exemptions that helped unleash America's fracking boom. The science in that study was suppressed to protect industry interests, a 2017 InsideClimate News investigation…

Water Use for Fracking Has Skyrocketed, USGS Data Show

By Christina Nunez   03/25/15  
As a concept, hydraulic fracturing has changed very little since the first wells were drilled in the late 1940s. In practice, however, what most people now know as fracking has undergone a transformation.

Scientists Warn of Quake Risk From Fracking Operations

By Patrick J. Kiger   05/02/14  
Tremors induced by wastewater disposal are larger and harder to predict than previously thought.

A Visit With Some Folks in Fracking Land

Last week I led a group of Nicholas School colleagues on an “eco fact-finding” trip to learn about fracking in Pennsylvania.

Is It Safe to Live Near a Gas Station?

By Ranjeeta   04/14/09  
Despite all the modern health and safety guidelines they must follow, gas stations can still pose significant hazards to neighbors, especially children. Some of the perils include ground-level ozone caused in part by gasoline fumes,…