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

Consumer safety board to weigh regulations on gas stoves

By Rachel Frazin   12/14/22  
The U.S. agency in charge of making sure the country’s consumer products are safe will weigh regulations on new gas stoves, one of the board’s commissioners said on Wednesday.
npr

The U.S. wants to slash carbon emissions from power plants. Natural gas is in the way

By Michael Copley   12/05/22  
Under President Joe Biden, the United States aims to cut all carbon pollution by 2035 from the power plants that run American homes and businesses. It's a first step toward the broader goal of zeroing…

World has nine years to avert catastrophic warming, study shows

By Sarah Kaplan   11/11/22  
Nations will likely burn through their remaining carbon budget in less than a decade if they do not significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution, a new study shows, causing the world to blow past a critical…

House Republicans to push nuclear power, natural gas at COP27

By Maxine Joselow and Vanessa Montalbano   11/08/22  
House Republicans heading to the United Nations climate conference in Egypt plan to argue that nuclear power and natural gas are essential to meeting global climate goals, the head of the delegation said Monday, even…

New Tax Break for Clean Energy Draws Scrutiny

By Eric Lipton   11/03/22  
Blackstone, the New York-based asset manager with nearly $1 trillion of investor funds, is moving rapidly into the clean-energy revolution, driven in part by federal tax incentives that were sweetened this summer by the Biden…

NASA finds more than 50 super-emitters of methane

By Will Sullivan   11/01/22  
While mapping minerals in Earth’s deserts, the agency’s new detector on the ISS spotted massive contributors to climate change.

Why Natural Gas Prices in Europe Are Suddenly Plunging

By Stanley Reed   10/26/22  
The war in Ukraine is raging, Russian natural gas exports to Europe are dwindling and the winter heating season is approaching. That would seem like a recipe for higher prices, yet the cost of the…

Ahead of the Midterms, Energy Lobbyists Plan for a Republican House

By Eric Lipton   10/20/22  
Oil and gas industry lobbyists, anticipating that Republicans could take control of the House in the midterm elections, are already working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to push back against what they consider the…

BP Bets $4 Billion On Green Landfill Gas, Yielding Another Fat Payday For The ‘Shalennial’ Rice Brothers

By Christopher Helman   10/18/22  
BP yesterday agreed to buy landfill gas producer Archaea Energy for $3.3 billion cash plus the assumption of $800 million in debt. The biggest winner is Daniel Rice IV, the 41-year-old chairman of Archaea, who…

Natural gas pushes utility bills higher as the weather turns colder

10/17/22  
The price of energy for Pennsylvania utility customers is likely to rise again this winter, riding the general inflation trend and, more specifically, the steep increase in the price of natural gas. This impacts both…

Pressing Safety Concerns, Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Gear Up for the Next Round of Battle

By Phil Mckenna   10/07/22  
As the U.S. Senate begins a month with two extended recesses, Maury Johnson of Greenville, West Virginia, has a proposal for how Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), someone he considers an old family friend, could best…

U.S. Natural Gas Production Sets A New Record, But Don’t Expect Relief On Your Heating Bills

By Robert Rapier   09/25/22  
Domestic oil production remains nearly a million barrels per day (BPD) below the monthly record level set just before the Covid-19 pandemic caused production to plunge. The all-time monthly high for oil production took place…

Natural gas prices continue to rise: what it means for the United States

By Marcelo Gonzalez   09/13/22  
Natural gas prices have doubled in the past year, putting pressure on American companies and consumers, a sign of U.S. vulnerability to international price fluctuations. After a decade of marginal or negative returns, U.S. drillers…

A decade after FERC tried to tackle New England gas issues, concerns remain and solutions are uncertain

By Robert Walton   09/13/22  
The New England energy system faces natural gas supply constraints that could threaten electric grid reliability this winter. It is an issue that has existed for years, and one that federal regulators have struggled with…

Manufacturers push regulators for more natural gas pipelines

By Nico Portuondo   09/09/22  
Manufacturers told lawmakers Friday that federal agencies should have a responsibility to secure reliable and affordable access to natural gas, mainly through a dramatic growth in pipeline infrastructure. A letter released Friday envisions an industry-oriented…

U.S. gas production heads for record as Europe faces shortages

By Mike Lee   07/19/22  
American production could exceed 100 billion cubic feet a day — an all-time high — by the end of the year, driven by increases in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in the Northeast and…

Maine’s First RNG Dairy Digester Now Under Construction

By Emily Holbrook   07/07/22  
Peaks Renewables, a subsidiary of Summit Utilities focused on investing in technologies to decarbonize thermal energy, broke ground on Maine’s first renewable natural gas (RNG) dairy digester on July 6, 2022, in Clinton, Maine.

Emissions From New U.S. Natural Gas Projects Will Equal 18 Million Cars

By Molly Taft   06/15/22  
Despite the Biden administration’s vows to fight climate change, the U.S. is currently embarking on a major effort to build out fossil fuel infrastructure following the war in Ukraine—with potentially disastrous climate results.

U.S. LNG could spew as much CO2 as 20 coal plants — report

By Miranda Willson   06/10/22  
If all of the proposed U.S. projects are completed, they could collectively release the equivalent of 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, said a report from the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project.

The U.S. Is Addicted To Gas Heating. A New Bill May Make Going Electric The Easy Choice.

By Alexander C. Kaufman   05/25/22  
When it’s cold outside, most American homes burn gas or fuel for warmth ― a big part of why buildings are the country’s fourth-largest source of climate-changing emissions. When it’s hot, an even bigger percentage…
AP

Gas wells leak explosive levels of methane in Bakersfield

By Drew Costley   05/25/22  
State and regional inspectors found concentrations of methane in the air around some of the wells at levels considered potentially explosive and environmental activists in the region are worried that other chemicals may also be…

US fracking boom could tip world to edge of climate disaster

By Nina Lakhani and Oliver Milman   05/11/22  
The fate of the vast quantities of oil and gas lodged under the shale, mud and sandstone of American drilling fields will in large part determine whether the world retains a liveable climate. And the…

Avoid using gas as ‘transition’ fuel in move to clean energy, study urges

By Fiona Harvey   05/10/22  
Countries should move from coal to renewable energy without shifting to gas as a “transition” fuel to save money, as high gas prices and market volatility have made the fossil fuel an expensive option, analysis…

How the oil and gas industry is trying to hold US public schools hostage

By Leanna First-Arai   05/04/22  
The oil and gas industry wants to play a word-and-picture association game with you. Think of four images: a brightly colored backpack stuffed with pencils, a smiling teacher with a tablet tucked under her arm,…

Another delay and cost increase announced for Mountain Valley Pipeline

By Laurence Hammack   05/03/22  
Mountain Valley Pipeline will again seek new permits that have twice been cast aside by the courts, delaying completion to the second half of 2023 and boosting the project’s cost to $6.6 billion.

Interior Department to resume oil and gas leasing, charge higher fees

By Anna Phillips   04/15/22  
As pressure increases on the Biden administration to lower the price of fuel, the Interior Department announced on Friday plans to hold its first onshore oil and gas lease sales since President Biden took office.

New York shows the challenges of phasing out fossil fuels

By Maxine Joselow   04/12/22  
In December, when the New York City Council voted to ban natural gas use in new buildings, environmentalists in the Big Apple barely stopped to celebrate.

EU aims to slash Russian gas dependence by two-thirds this year

By Karl Mathiesen   03/08/22  
The EU can cut most of its reliance on Russian gas by the end of this year if governments implement a raft of emergency measures to be proposed by the European Commission on Tuesday.

US overhauls review policy for gas pipelines, LNG

By Chris Knight   02/17/22  
The agency's Democratic majority voted 3-2 to approve two policies, one revising the agency's project certification process and another creating a new framework for scrutinizing greenhouse gas emissions. Together they mark the largest change in…

Fact Sheet | Updated Pipeline Certificate Policy Statement (PL18-1-000)

02/17/22  
The update of FERC’s 1999 Policy Statement on the certification of new interstate natural gas facilities provides a more comprehensive analytical framework for the Commission’s decision-making process. The policy statement includes the first revision in…
CNN

GOP and gas lobby preemptively quashed cuts in natural gas usage

By Ella Nilsen   02/17/22  
In 2019, the city council in Berkeley, California, held a stunning vote: it would ban natural gas hookups in all new building construction to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the city's impact on the climate…

Oil majors ‘not walking the talk’ on climate action, study confirms

By Josh Gabbatiss   02/16/22  
Four of the world’s largest oil-and-gas companies are failing to back their words and pledges on climate change with genuine action and investment, a new study says.
Vox

The end of natural gas has to start with its name

By Rebecca Leber   02/10/22  
The oil and gas industry didn’t invent the name. But it invented the myth of a clean fuel.

EU proposes rules to label some gas and nuclear investments as green

By Kate Abnett   02/02/22  
Investments in some gas and nuclear power plants would be labelled as sustainable under rules proposed by European Commission on Wednesday, a plan that has split countries and investors, and which some lawmakers will attempt…

Volts podcast: Panama Bartholomy on decarbonizing America’s buildings

By David Roberts   01/28/22  
Fossil-fuel combustion in buildings — mostly natural gas for space and water heating — is responsible for around 10 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions.[*] Getting to net-zero will require heating, cooling, and powering all…

Living near or downwind of unconventional oil and gas development linked with increased risk of early death

01/27/22  
Elderly people living near or downwind of unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD)—which involves extraction methods including directional (non-vertical) drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—are at higher risk of early death compared with elderly individuals…

Gas Stoves in the US Emit Methane Equivalent to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Half a Million Cars

By Phil McKenna   01/27/22  
Natural gas stoves emit far more methane than previously thought, as well as harmful nitrogen oxides in concentrations that can quickly exceed federal safety standards, researchers at Stanford University report.

Gas stoves in kitchens pose a risk to public health and the planet, research finds

By Maxine Joselow   01/27/22  
Gas-burning stoves in kitchens across America may pose a greater risk to the planet and public health than previously thought, new research suggests. The appliances release far more of the potent planet-warming gas methane than…

Federal court revokes oil and gas leases, citing climate change

By Lisa Friedman   01/27/22  
A judge ruled that the Interior Department must consider the climate impacts of oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico before awarding leases.

Airlines flying near-empty ‘ghost flights’ to retain EU airport slots

By Arthur Neslen   01/26/22  
Analysis from Greenpeace finds deserted flights are generating millions of tons of harmful emissions

Unused and useless: States must act to end flawed natural gas power plant buildouts

By Grant Smith   01/11/22  
Nothing exemplifies the irrational utility business model more than the billions of dollars companies have wasted on the massive buildout of natural gas capacity over the last decade, ignoring obvious market trends favoring renewables and…
CNN

Fossil fuel companies are lobbying to keep the world addicted to natural gas.

By Angela Dewan   12/23/21  
Imagine a world entirely free of fossil fuels. That's no longer such an abstract concept, as most of the everyday things we do can be powered by electricity -- driving a car, heating a home,…

Clash of the kitchens: California leads the way in a new climate battleground

By Evan Halper   12/16/21  
The most luxurious gas stoves and ovens a home chef could desire fill the cavernous Snyder Diamond showroom in Van Nuys, but the cooking appliance the owner seems most excited about doesn’t use gas at…

New York City Council votes to ban natural gas in new buildings

By Joseph Guzman   12/15/21  
New York City lawmakers passed legislation banning natural gas hookups in new buildings in favor of electricity or other more environmentally friendly sources for heating, hot water and cooking.

New York’s Right to ‘a Healthful Environment’ Could Be Bad News for Fossil Fuel Interests

By Kristoffer Tigue   11/23/21  
When New York regulators denied a key permit to the controversial Williams Pipeline in early 2020, in part because it conflicted with the state’s climate law, environmental policy experts called it a potential turning point.

Cuomo Threatens National Grid: Provide Gas or Lose Your License

By Michael Gold   11/12/21  
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and a utility that provides gas to New York City and Long Island have been locked in a standoff since May, when New York regulators blocked the construction of a $1…

Biden unveils new rules to curb methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas operations

By Dino Grandoni and Steven Mufson   11/02/21  
The Biden administration also unveiled a sweeping set of domestic policies Tuesday to cut emissions of methane from oil and gas operations across the United States. The proposals, announced at the U.N. climate summit known…

How New York Just Took a Big Step Away From Fossil Fuels

By Grace Ashford and Anne Barnard   10/27/21  
In a major win for climate advocates and supporters of wind and solar energy, New York State environmental regulators refused on Wednesday to allow two companies to upgrade their gas-fueled power plants — signaling a…

Good readings for getting up to speed on methane

By SueEllen Campbell   10/22/21  
That methane is a powerful greenhouse gas is not news for many readers of this site. But it is newly prominent, both as a significant contributor to recent warming (causing some 25% of it, even…

Russia allows methane leaks at planet’s peril

By Steven Mufson, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis, John Muyskens and Naema Ahmed   10/19/21  
On the morning of Friday, June 4, an underground gas pipeline running through the ancient state of Tatarstan sprang a leak. And not a small one. In a different era, the massive leak might have…