A report authored by the Dept. of Energy (DOE) and published at the end of June (but only now is being pushed by the DOE as a “new report”) takes a close look at natural gas and its role in the larger U.S. energy picture. The report, titled Role of Alternative Energy Sources: Natural Gas Power Technology Assessment (full 165-page copy embedded below), uses seven criteria to evaluate the role of natural gas and concludes that it’s the best current choice for powering electrical generating plants in the U.S.
But what about greenhouse gases—the so-called “fact” that methane leakage from shale gas drilling is contributing “dangerous” amounts of GHG to the atmosphere (as say Cornell profs Robert Howarth and Tony Ingraffea)? The report says fugitive methane escaping into the atmosphere is more than offset by reduced emissions from power plants burning clean natural gas as opposed to alternatives like coal and oil.