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.

What is natural gas?

CURRENT NEWS

The Surprising Force Stalling Climate Progress: California Restaurants

By Ben Elgin 05/13/24
In the fight to ratchet down climate emissions and soothe the most dangerous effects of an overheating planet, one of the most withering setbacks in recent memory wasn’t delivered by the oil industry or coal…
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16 States Sue Biden Administration Over Gas Permit Pause

By Lisa Friedman 03/21/24
Louisiana and 15 other Republican-led states sued the Biden administration on Thursday over its decision to temporarily stop approving new permits for facilities that export liquefied natural gas.
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National Grid announces $4B plan to upgrade upstate New York power grid

By Patrick Cooley 03/21/24
National Grid, which serves Massachusetts and New York State, said Wednesday it is investing $4 billion to upgrade upstate New York’s power grid.
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Gas Industry Blocks Building Codes Meant To Make Going Electric Cheaper

By Alexander C. Kaufman 03/21/24
The natural gas industry pulled off an 11th-hour victory in its campaign to strip climate-friendly rules out of the latest update to the homebuilding guidelines used in most of the United States.
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Fossil Fuel Cash Is Fracking Democrats’ Climate Support

By Josh Keefe 03/20/24
When President Joe Biden announced in January that he was temporarily halting approvals of new liquefied natural gas exports and processing terminals, Emma Guevara welcomed the news. A resident of Brownsville, Texas — a historically…
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Companies Are Poised to Inject Millions of Tons of Carbon Underground. Will It Stay Put?

By Nicholas Kusnetz 03/20/24
After more than a century of pulling carbon from underground, a rush is underway to pump it back down. Companies have applied for scores of permits across the country to inject carbon dioxide deep into…
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Battered by hurricanes and tired of rebuilding, 90% of population has left this coastal town

By Nidhi Sharma and Lauren Wilson 03/19/24
Seven days a week, Tressie LaBove Smith makes the two-hour round trip from Lake Charles to what’s left of her Cajun restaurant in Cameron, Louisiana, an unincorporated town perched along the stormy Gulf Coast. Business…
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Biden’s LNG Freeze Delaying Projects and Risking US Market Share

By Ruth Liao and Stephen Stapczynski 03/15/24
The Biden administration’s pause on new licenses for liquefied natural gas exporters is already stalling progress for projects that were aiming to come online later this decade.
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US natural gas pipeline accidents pose big, unreported climate threat

By Nichola Groom 03/08/24
Last October, an Idaho farmer using a backhoe punched a hole into a 22-inch (56-cm) pipeline buried under a field, sending more than 51 million cubic feet of natural gas hissing into the air. While…
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One big downside of LNG exports: Price swings for US gas consumers

By Julian Spector 03/06/24
Electricity bills in Louisiana didn’t use to fluctuate based on geopolitical turmoil on the other side of the world. But when Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022 and kicked off a fossil gas shortage in…
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The Toxic Reality of “Natural” Gas

03/05/24
This season . . . love’s not the only thing in the air. Tune in to the explosive new show where one unsuspecting homeowner with a “natural” gas hookup is forced to live with 21…
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A methane well that leaked for 6 months has released a year’s worth of emissions for 791,000 cars: report

By Matthew Loh 02/16/24
A methane well in Kazakhstan is estimated to have released 140,000 tons of gas into Earth's atmosphere, as it leaked for 205 days in one of the world's worst-ever blowouts, environmental scientists said. The new…
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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

How will court’s rebuke of Berkeley’s natural-gas ban affect the national movement it began?

By Katie Lauer   04/30/23  
When Berkeley became the first U.S. city to ban construction of new natural gas lines in 2019, it pioneered an approach to reducing carbon emissions and pollutants that has since spread around the Bay Area…
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National Grid plans to hike gas bills by 17%, files plan with regulators

By Christian Murray   04/29/23  
The company filed its proposed rate increases on Friday with the New York State Public Service Commission, the governing body that must sign off on them before they can go into effect. The proposal calls…
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How New Yorkers’ Food Scraps Get ‘Digested’ to Provide Gas for Homes

By Robin Shulman Agüeros   04/19/23  
For 20 years, New York City officials have discussed developing a compost program, and for a decade they have experimented with small-scale versions. Finally, last month, Mayor Eric Adams launched a citywide initiative to collect…
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Louisiana energy companies wasted $82 million in natural gas, study finds

By Wesley Muller   04/13/23  
A new environmental advocacy group analysis released Thursday found Louisiana’s oil and gas industry wasted over $82 million worth of natural gas in 2019, which is more than two-thirds of the state’s yearly residential consumption.
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Court throws out crucial water permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline

By Naveena Sadasivam   04/05/23  
In exchange for his help passing the most far-reaching climate law in U.S. history, Senator Joe Manchin hoped to fast-track a 303-mile natural gas pipeline that’s being built in his home state of West Virginia.…
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Europe was the main destination for U.S. LNG exports in 2022

By Victoria Zaretskaya   03/22/23  
U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) averaged 10.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2022, increasing by 9% (0.8 Bcf/d) compared with 2021, according to our Natural Gas Monthly. The increase in U.S.…
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Despite Rules, New Mexico Oil and Gas Producers Keep Polluting

By Jerry Redfern   03/17/23  
Driving around the Permian Basin in early February, it was impossible to miss. New Mexico has increased its oil production tenfold since 2010 and was the first major oil-producing state to surpass its pre-pandemic output…
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PG&E delivers bill shocks to customers amid soaring natural gas prices

By George Avalos   02/27/23  
Soaring prices for natural gas and this winter’s icy blasts have jolted unsuspecting PG&E customers with brutal — and fast-rising — monthly utility bills.
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Energy Department exploring clean natural gas designation

By Zack Colman and Ben Lefebrve   02/24/23  
The Energy Department is exploring a plan to offer a government endorsement for natural gas that meets a minimum standard for cleanliness — a move aimed at helping U.S. gas producers maintain sales even as…
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The plastic train wreck should be a wake-up call

02/17/23  
Thanks to a mountain of deadlines a mile high, I haven't yet been able to focus as much attention on the East Palestine train derailment as I'd like, but two things were very clear to…
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The Coming Chemical Boom

02/16/23  
Shale gas fueled a boom in the drilling industry and has provided cheaper fuel, displacing dirtier coal to generate electricity. It’s also feeding a spinoff industry in chemicals. Shell is building a multi-billion-dollar petrochemical plant…
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The gas bill is $907.13? Sticker shock for Californians as prices soar

By Laura J. Nelson   02/15/23  
Brent Eldridge had heard that prices for natural gas were high this winter, but nothing prepared him for how bad it could be. When he opened the envelope from Long Beach’s utility department, he couldn’t…
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Environmental Groups and Native Leaders Say Proposed Venting and Flaring Rule Falls Short

By Autumn Jones   02/15/23  
Oil companies collect crude in tanks by their pumps but often vent the methane gas that also comes up out of the ground into the air, unwilling to invest in the infrastructure to capture it. …
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The brutal European winter that wasn’t

By David Wallace-Wells   02/15/23  
This was supposed to be a winter of energy crisis in Europe. Beginning last spring, not long after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the fear of gas shortages spread across the continent, along with fears…
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It’s not about gas stoves

02/15/23  
The recent kerfuffle over gas stoves isn’t about gas stoves. If you’re not up to speed on the issue, it began when Richard Trumka, Jr., who sits on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, was…
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California declared war on natural gas. Now the fight is going national

By Sammy Roth   02/09/23  
In July 2019, elected officials in the Bay Area city, a national leader in progressive politics and environmental protection, voted to ban gas hookups in most new homes. That meant no gas furnaces, boilers or…
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In the Fight Over Gas Stoves, Meet the Industry’s Go-To Scientist

By Hiroko Tabuchi   01/29/23  
Longstanding research shows the health dangers of gas-burning ranges. Utilities are turning to Julie Goodman, a toxicologist with a firm whose work raises questions about the science....
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‘I use it because it’s better’: why chefs are embracing the electric stove

By Whitney Bauck   01/29/23  
The evidence that gas stoves are bad for human health has grown so staggering over the last few years that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced that it would consider banning the appliances.…
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US renters have growing worries over gas stoves – and few options

By Aliya Uteuova   01/27/23  
New research has revealed the extent of indoor air pollution caused by gas stoves. Switching to alternatives like electric or induction stoves is the best way to reduce the health risk of burning fossil fuels…
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Video: I measured pollution from my gas stove. There was a lot of it

By Michael Thomas   01/27/23  
Want to know how bad your gas stove really is? Put air-quality monitors in your home and then talk through your findings with an air-quality expert.
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FERC denies Sierra Club request to hold up Rio Grande LNG

By James Osborne   01/19/23  
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cleared developers to move ahead on the Rio Grande LNG terminal in South Texas, despite a federal court ruling last year more environmental review was needed. The Sierra Club had…
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Liquefied Natural Gas Will Have a Less Frenzied 2023

By Megha Mandavia   01/19/23  
Last year was the year of liquefied natural gas. Russia’s decision to curtail pipeline gas supplies to Europe sent prices through the roof and threatened to push Europe into recession. The panic-induced price spike of…
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How dark money groups led Ohio to redefine gas as ‘green energy’

By Maxine Joselow   01/17/23  
Conservative groups helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, documents show. They are taking their campaign to other states.
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This is all the gas industry’s fault

By Emily Atkin   01/14/23  
It can be hard to fully appreciate the effect that fossil fuel industry marketing has had on shaping American culture and values—and thus how difficult it can be to undo its conditioning. But in the…
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The new soldiers in propane’s fight against climate action: television stars

By Hiroko Tabuchi   01/11/23  
An industry group is spending millions of dollars to push back against efforts to move heating away from oil and gas....
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U.S. agency examines secret pollution from gas stoves

By Shannon Osaka   01/10/23  
For years, scientists and health advocates have tried to bring attention to a secret source of air pollution sitting in 40 million homes around the United States — which jump-starts childhood asthma, increases the risk…
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2022 Will Be Remembered as the Year the U.S. Became the World’s Largest Exporter of Liquified Natural Gas – Inside Climate News

By Nicholas Kusnetz   01/01/23  
When environmentalists look back on 2022, they might remember it as the year the United States finally passed a major climate change law. Some advocates worry, however, that this significant victory is being undermined by…
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FERC climate reviews in limbo as Glick departs

By Miranda Willson   12/15/22  
The head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had big plans at the start of the Biden administration for assessing planet-warming emissions from new gas pipelines.
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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.
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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.
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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In exchange for climate legislation, Joe Manchin was promised a pipeline. Will he get it?

By Naveena Sadasivam   08/04/22  
When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin announced the surprising rebirth of a deal to pass sweeping climate legislation last week, reporters could at first only speculate about what exactly it took…
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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…
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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…
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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…
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