Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Air Quality Concerns Threaten Natural Gas's Image

Elizabeth Shogren
June 21, 2011

Massive stores of natural gas that lie underneath big portions of the United States offer a cleaner source of electricity to a country that relies heavily on coal, but producing all that gas also can pump lots of pollution into the air.

Gas production already has caused unhealthy air in Wyoming's Sublette County and Utah's Uintah Basin. And experts project that booming shale gas developments like Haynesville, stretching through Texas and Louisiana, and Marcellus, which lies beneath several Mid-Atlantic states, will start contributing to unhealthy levels of ozone or smog in coming years.

"This isn't just next to where the development is actually happening — the poor person living downwind of the compressor — this is ozone levels in Philadelphia and [Washington] D.C. and New York City and places like that," says Carnegie Mellon University professor Allen Robinson....continued.....