Google is teaming up with an environmental group to map methane leaks from natural gas pipelines in US cities. Methane contributes to global warming, and Google hopes its new maps will encourage utilities to patch and replace old pipelines.
Natural gas is cleaner than coal, but only if the industry can control its methane releases. A new report says it's doing OK, but methane releases are underestimated.
If methane leak rates are more than 3 percent of output, fracking of shale gas formations may be boosting greenhouse gas emissions rather than lowering them.
Environmentalists and industry representatives are criticizing new draft regulations on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial drilling method that has helped spark an oil and gas boom. The shared discontent reflects the complexity of the debate surrounding hydraulic fracturing and natural gas use.
Stepp summarizes the major themes from a conference dedicated to discussing the possibility of developing and deploying all of the cheap, high-performing zero-carbon technologies necessary to meet 40 terawatts of projected global demand by mid-century.
The number of US homes relying on burning wood for heat is up 24 percent since 2006. But environmental concerns could quash further growth of wood-burning.