U.S. takes steps to curb natural gas footprint

Sierra Club welcomes action against "dirty fracked gas."
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   July 30, 2014 at 9:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) -- The Sierra Club said Energy Department steps to reduce methane emissions tied to the natural gas sector are vital tools in the fight against climate change.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz unveiled ways to minimize the amount of emissions generated from the natural gas sector.

Deb Nardone, a campaign director at the Sierra Club, said the department's efforts must be matched by equal efforts from the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Together, actions by the DOE and the EPA can move the ball forward to break our reliance on all fossil fuels, including dirty fracked gas, while ushering in clean energy and energy efficiency," she said in an emailed statement.

Critics of hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, say the process could lead to higher emissions of methane, which could in part offset the low-carbon footprint of natural gas.

Moniz unveiled a four-point plan for what he said was a workable solution to methane leakage from the natural gas sector.

"Reducing these methane leaks can help consumers and industry save money, create jobs, modernize our energy infrastructure and protect our environment," he said in a statement.

A congressional research report this week found the EPA lacked the resources needed to monitor water contamination and the seismic activity associated with fracking.

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