MYTH #8: “Fracking is a bridge fuel to a low-carbon economy”

FACT: It is true that burning gas does produce less CO2 compared to burning coal. However, by focusing only on CO2 emissions, supporters of fracking are not telling the whole story. A far more dangerous greenhouse gas is methane – the main gas produced by fracking – which is 86 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year time frame, according to the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change. Studies vary in their methods and measurement of fugitive (i.e. leaking) methane, but there is a growing consensus that up to 10% may be lost to the atmosphere during exploration and production, and that even more is lost from leaking abandoned wells. This would make fracked gas even more damaging for the climate than coal.