CommonWealth Magazine: Debunking the fracked gas fairy tale; Fuel is as dirty as coal and extremely dangerous

The persistent myth that fracked gas is substantially cleaner and safer than other forms of fossil energy is not remotely supported by the evidence. While gas burns cleaner than other carbon-emitting fuels, leaks of methane from gas wells, pipelines and other infrastructure put a dramatically more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, rapidly worsening the climate crisis. When the whole system is taken into account, and not the cherry-picked burning statistics, fracked gas is as dirty as, or dirtier than, other fossil fuels. 

Fracked gas infrastructure is also unsafe, despite the insistent assertions of the industry. “[O]ver the past two decades, over 12,000 natural gas and hazardous material incidents have occurred in the United States, killing 312 people, injuring 1,308, and causing over $8 billion in property damage.  The pace of damage is accelerating: in 2017 there were 647 incidents, killing 19 and injuring 34.  And that doesn’t count near misses.”