by Joe Massaro
A recent letter to the editor by Diana Pedi titled, Climate Change Happens in The Bronx Too took aim at fracking even though it’s thanks to fracking and the increased use of natural gas that the U.S. has significantly lowered greenhouse gas emissions.
According to Pedi, fracking is to blame for climate change because, “fracking releases methane.” That claim has been directly contradicted by the EPA, which just released data from its annual Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. EPA found that oil and gas producers reduced emissions of methane 12 percent from 2011 to 2013, and methane emissions from fracking specifically decreased by an amazing 73 percent. If EPA data isn’t enough, a study by the University of Texas and the Environmental Defense Fund, which looked directly at measurements of methane from 190 well pads, found very low emission rates.
It’s especially interesting to hear someone from the Bronx speak of health issues when we know that because of fracking in the Marcellus shale New Yorkers – specifically those living in the city – are breathing the cleanest air in 50 years. As former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last year, “The cleaner air enjoyed by New Yorkers today is preventing 800 deaths 2,000 emergency room visits and hospitalizations from lung and cardiovascular diseases annually.”
In the words of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, “Responsible development of natural gas is an important part of our work to curb climate change.”
Editor’s Note: Joe Massaro is a New York resident, currently working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a spokesman for Energy in Depth, an educational outreach arm for the IPAA (Independent Petroleum Association of America).