Scranton Times Advice to Act on Methane All Wrong

shale gas news - desRosiers_headshotBill desRosiers
External Affairs Coordinator, Cabot Oil & Gas


The Scranton Times-Tribute recently criticized the Think About Energy series in an editorial titled Act on Methane, but their facts are all wrong.

Recently the Scranton Times-Tribune published an editorial titled Act on Methane. I found this editorial to be a disservice to their readership. Not only did it undermine the educational purpose of the “Think About Energy” series, but it all grossly misrepresents methane emissions from Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry.

Act on Methane

Proctor & Gamble Mehoopany, PA

For several years now, the Think About Energy series has been helping residents understand Pennsylvania natural gas production and how businesses can take advantage of the clean fuel’s environmental and economic benefits. The series recognizes achievement and encourages future opportunity. Natural gas is making a significant impact on Northeast Pennsylvania’s economy.

I encourage the Times-Tribune to cover the outstanding work of companies like Global Tungsten & Powders (GTP), Medico Industries, Inc., Gatorade, and Procter & Gamble more regularly to understand how this local natural gas is impacting our everyday lives as consumers.

When it comes to air quality, the Times-Trubine suggestion methane emissions will rise because of production increases is egregiously wrong. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection data shows, between 2009-2013, methane emissions from oil and gas systems in the Commonwealth declined by 0.65%, despite an increase in production of 977%.

Moreover, whenever discussing methane, it is equally important to recognize other improving air quality standards, something the commentary failed to address. According to Pennsylvania DEP Air Quality Annual Emissions Data collected since large-scale Marcellus Shale production began in 2008: SO2 emissions are down 68%; NOx emissions are down 29%; and, particulate matter emissions are down 38%.

These numbers provide quantitative proof existing regulations, are working! This is thanks to Pennsylvania’s robust and effective program already in place to control emissions. The same thing is also happening with respect to CO2 emissions.

act on methane

As a result of Pennsylvania’s natural gas production, our air quality has never been better, our communities have benefited by retaining and creating high-quality job opportunities, our citizens’ energy bills are significantly reduced and our region is poised to launch a manufacturing renaissance. The Times-Tribune readers deserved to hear these facts.

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8 thoughts on “Scranton Times Advice to Act on Methane All Wrong

  1. Most “news” media do not care about publishing good news, since good news does not get good ratings. I do not think many news writers or opinion writers even do any research before publishing their items; rather, I think they just regurgitate what they see or here from unreliable sources.

  2. You fellas at Natural Gas Now will say just about anything to keep making money including destroying the world.

    • I have no skin in this game so could you kindly educate us all in how the Natural Gas industry (which you obviously benefit from) is “destroying the world”?


    Hmm. It’s an article in the news about resistance to a pipeline. And it includes some familiar names. Well the names are familiar to some of us who have followed the issue of fracking and pipelines and the ressitance to them or seen the antifracking pipeline resistance movement up close but I imagine the reporter( who I’m sure got paid for that piece) doesn’t recognize the players and people who keep appearing in the news year after year after year?

    When was Gerhard arrested at that pa Pennsylvania task force meeting? Who else was arrested? What’s going on with this pipeline now as the pattern over the last several years is that the quality of information in the news and from activists gets worse over time with pipelines and the worst reporting is often done after a project is approved and under construction.

  4. The graph indicates a reduction in CO2 emissions, which should correlate to better air quality. However, it does not address the 10% to 12% of the methane produced entering the atmosphere from leaks and planned venting at compressor stations. These amounts are reported in many journals, not just estimates. And these losses to the atmosphere of a GHG that is 80 times more potent than CO2 in a twenty-year profile are ignored by the gas industry as they brag about how “clean” natural gas is. Lets see some data that includes ALL GHG, not just CO2.

  5. Sensitive topic?
    I would be curious to know what sort of decline, if any, in coal burning generation had also occured? One of the issues you might want to consider is the methane reduction of 0.6 “percent” while good suggests that given the overall growth in natural gas production and the 80 times heating factor of CH4 over comparable weight of CO2, well the comparison of apples and oranges (not normalizing to CO2) may be a problem? This issue is on the margin needing the partial budget process in CO2 to really expose the trade-offs? But then global warming issues are essentially disputed as false news/science and it is a now-worries topic of climate science? Fugitive methane is a growth industry?

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