Another Day, Another Sham Study on Marcellus Methane Leaks

This one is rich. Apparently Cornell anti-drilling professor (and erstwhile stand-up comic) Tony Ingraffea’s name is so toxic when it comes to discredited research, that when he’s part of yet another sham “study” on methane (as in a new one released yesterday), his name doesn’t even come up in the official press release. Neither does his partner in crime Robert Howarth. Both have authored previous “studies” that were completely refuted as junk science. Their names are tucked away in the list of esteemed authors for a new study titled, “Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development” (abstract below). This latest fiasco was published yesterday on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences website. In a nutshell, the “researchers” flew a plane over gas drilling operations in Pennsylvania to collect and analyze samples, looking for that evil fugitive from justice (and causer of global warming)–methane. The so-called study’s findings? There’s a whole lotta methane leakin’ out down they’a. But it gets better.

You might think an evaluation of methane coming from rocks would include at least one geologist–you know, the scientists that study rocks? For this study, the two lead authors are a chemistry professor (from Purdue University) and an evolutionary biologist (from Cornell). Not one geologist in the entire list. We wonder–did these smarter-than-the-rest-of-us researchers take into account that herd of cattle grazing near the drill site? You do know that cows burping and farting produce more methane per year than oil and gas operations, according to our own federal EPA, right? (See: Biggest Producer of “Fugitive” Methane is… Cows?!). Did our eager beaver researchers take into account all those belching/flatulating bovines as they were flying around the PA countryside with loads of farms?…

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