UPDATE::LATE NEWS:: The first ship carrying EEUU frack gas to Spain arrived on 22nd July in Ferrol, Galicia. Activists and Ecological groups protested bitterly and accused the company of illegal handling and storage.
The first shipment of US frack-gas (‘shale gas’) has arrived in Portugal, followed by 6 more to Europe. The US plans hundreds of shipments, taking up to 20% of the euro gas market from their Russian rivals. With state help the enterprises have been busy strong arming and bribing EU companies into contracts, (eg. Galp (Portugal), Royal Dutch Shell and the Spanish Gas Natural. with the Rajoy govt only too eager to help).
A juicy business perhaps, aided by the usual US financial and military tools that have got the South Stream pipeline from Russia cancelled, have lined up countries and the EU against the German Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and have quietly forbidden their Ukraine ‘debt cow’ state from doing essential maintenance on their Russian pipeline, which still provides 16% of Europe’s gas.
All set then. A famous victory for the US billionaires and their power crazed political sponsors, who haven’t hesitated to buy out environmental law, poison aquifers and cause a health and ecological emergency in order to frack oil and gas from thousands of short term wells.
But just a minute. There’s a problem. .. One of the blatant scams of the frackers was to make it unnecessary to even measure methane leaks, and studies done were often bought out or dismissed as only local..
But now new authoritative Cornell and the Harvard studies (directed by Robert Howarth) have proven what we knew all along, now using satellite data, that fracking releases huge amounts of methane, the increase is enough to cancel out all the claimed progress in limiting climate emissions in the US since 2007.
“Fracking” Shale Gas Emissions Far Worse Than Coal For Climate …A groundbreaking report from Cornell University researchers confirming that shale gas recovered through high volume hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” will produce even more greenhouse gases than the burning of coal in the next two decades – a critical window in which society must reduce emissions to combat climate change.
Even worse, the figures prove that the frack- gas (‘shale gas’) that the US is foisting on Europe is MUCH WORSE EVEN THAN COAL for the climate, when this methane effect is added to the CO2 emissions on burning it.
Just when world temperatures have gone into overdrive, smashing all heat records for 14 months in a row, we have proof of a giant dome of escaped methane over the US, coinciding exactly with the ”Fracking Revolution”.
”Over the critical next 20 year period methane is roughly 86 times as potent as carbon dioxide as a driver of climate change , or 35 times as potent over the span of a century”. Gas is not just a “bridge to nowhere,” it turns out to be a highway to hell.
As the 1st frack-gas ship sailed for Portugal, Cheniére’s vice president of marketing, Meg Gentle, told industry and government officials that ”gas should be rebranded as renewable energy”, and Exxon’s PR chief boasted that ‘‘America’s shale gas revolution has caused emissions to decline to levels of the 1990s.”’
They were very wrong and they knew it. They will try to ignore and buy false counter reports to the Harvard and Cornell studies, maybe the authors will receive anonymous threats or simply disappear.
”Cheaply sealing the many thousands of fracking wells to stop endemic leaking is impossible with present technology. Even in countries with correct regulation methods the methane always escapes as there is no existing technology for sealing the wells. and there are also huge losses in the industrial and domestic networks”.
But it is too late. They have already given us another good reason to refuse an inferior product.. for example this gives a solid basis to the French government which would like to ban US frack gas and cancel sneaky contracts already made.
The news that frack or shale gas is worse than coal also gives a new argument to the German govt. (with one ‘traitor’ already coming out against hysterical US warmongering) which stands to lose out heavily if their cheap and efficient Nord Stream 2 pipeline is also cancelled due to ”US lobbying”.
And this ‘Far Worse Than Coal’ news coincides with anger among Europeans over US attempts to secretly push through the TTIP treaty which is seen as abolishing many citizens and national rights in favour of their Corporations
The Methane Bomb. Methane leaks are powerful climate forcers and could in theory push us over a feedback tipping point whereby the permafrost would melt releasing gigantic amounts of more methane, causing runaway global overheating and the melting of hidrates on the ocean floor , causing another huge leap in temperatures, a collapse of the biosphere and human ‘civilisation’, causing….etc
Even in the UK, which used to be firmly controlled, a report by the UK’s Climate Change Committee has been published, on July 7 2016, and has found that ”exploiting shale gas by fracking on a significant scale is not compatible with UK climate targets”. That is just a step away from cutting their emissions by refusing to take the proffered US frack-gas and oil.
The move to flood Europe with climate-hostile US frack-gas in the form of LNG is also partly market psychology. The US now has a huge glut of nearly unprofitable gas, and the mere threat of exports to Europe may already have forced the Russians to reduce prices .
But that won’t put the Russians out of business. (unless there’s an ”accident or sabotage” with the Ukraine and other pipelines).
Ironically due to US forced sanctions the rouble has collapsed making exports, though reduced, much more profitable! And it is ‘natural’ not fracked gas.
One of the advantages of a potential banning of frack-gas (shale) in Europe and more crucially in the US (which releases up to 60% of world methane emissions growth) would be that methane climate heating effects tail off relatively ‘fast’.
Within the crucial next 20 years a large reduction in methane leaks could have some impact in holding back climate chaos, while the world awaits the longer term benefits of slashing CO2 emissions and supposedly replacing fossil fuels..
Another destination for the US frack-gas will be Spain, which gets half its gas from Algerian pipelines but has 7 expensive but hardly used regasification plants for LNG (one closed down, other countries have just one or two).
Notoriously corrupt Spanish politicians and businessmen have been fallingh over each other to sign frack-gas contracts with the US, and the 1st ship has already arrived in Galicia with dozens more to follow
The ludicrous but much vaunted plan, which finally got heavy EU funding and grudging French approval is to finish the Midcat pipeline to France and use the Barcelona plant to pump US frack-gas at Europe, get a good ‘commission’ and piss off the nasty Russians.
The news that frack-gas is worse than coal gives Catalan and French environmentalists a key argument against this environmentally destructive plan which though agreed and funded is likely doomed.
(The Barcelona pipeline is hardly credible. Will the French government pay several hundred million euros to finish Midcat and receive more climate-chaos frack gas that it’s already threatening to ban? Gas which it doesn’t need, pumped from Spain at extra cost, when it has anyway 4 underused regasification plants of its own if it did want the gas… And all to replace a small amount of Russian gas (which at least isn’t doubly climate-hostile) and to placate the irritating US imperialists,)
Robert Howarth added: “We should not proceed to view shale gas as a ‘transitional fuel’ to be used over the next few decades to replace other fossil fuels, but rather work harder to move towards truly green renewable fuels as quickly as possible, such as wind and solar.”
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