A rare moment occurred yesterday on an episode of Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously”: an Exec. of a major company admitted a link between fracking and runaway, catastrophic climate change.
Though he didn’t put it in those terms, Southwestern Energy’s Mark Boling — SW being the 5th biggest producer of fracked gas in the U.S. — conceded his industry has a major methane problem. And as the episode makes clear, the so-called solution to that problem is akin to greenwashing, with the industry now pushing for “green conpletions” of fracked wells.
I think this was fracking’s “tobacco is addictive” moment, where a major executive finally had to admit what scientists have been saying for years. That and more is documented in the piece below.
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Southwestern Energy Executive Mark Boling Admits Fracking Link to Climate Change
An Executive* of a major shale gas development company has conceded what scientists have been saying for years: global shale gas development has the potential to wreak serious climate change havoc.
Best known for his company’s hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) activity,Southwestern Energy Executive Vice President* Mark Boling admitted his industry has a methane problem on the May 19 episode of Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously” in a segment titled, “Chasing Methane.”
“I think some of those numbers, they certainly concern me,” Boling says on the show. “How could you say that that methane emission rate was one and a half percent – very, very difficult to there from here for that.”
Boling goes toe to toe in the segment with Cornell University Professor Anthony Ingraffea, who co-authored the 2011 paper now best known as the “Cornell Study.”
That study was the first to say that over its entire lifecycle, shale gas production is dirtier than coal due to the greenhouse gas trapping capacity of leaking methane. Numerous studies since then have depicted high leakage rates throughout the production lifecycle.
Cornell University Professor Anthony Ingraffea; Photo Credit: Cornell University
Brendan DeMelle, DeSmogBlog Executive Director and Managing Editor, is also a featured guest on tonight’s episode. He discusses the well-funded climate change denial machine and attacks on renewable energy development in a segment titled, “Against the Wind.”
The Years of Living Dangerously episode coincides with the release of a new paper on fracking’s climate change impacts by Cornell Study co-author Professor Robert Howarth.
Howarth’s latest paper is titled, “A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas,” a wordplay on the industry’s self-promotional pitch about gas being a “bridge fuel” to a clean energy future.
Read more here.