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Environmental benefits of coal bed methane

World Coal,

A new report published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlights the environmental benefits of coal bed methane (CBM), as well as shale gas.

The report says that electricity generated from shale gas and CBM produces around half the carbon emissions as coal-fired electricity.

This places gas from shale and coal seams – unconventional gas – in the same ‘low-emission’ category as conventional natural gas produced from sandstone rocks.

The report from the US Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis and US National Renewable Energy Laboratory uses harmonised estimates from existing research literature to quantify the life-cycle emissions benefits of using shale gas and CBM for power generation.

The report’s findings should be a significant blow to continued attempts of anti-gas activists to question the environmental benefits associated with expanding natural gas production, including CBM and shale gas production.

With gas displacing coal in the US, the report notes that a boom in unconventional gas would see the country’s greenhouse emissions decline to levels equivalent to those of about 20 years ago.

Increased unconventional gas production would also deliver cheaper power bills for families and create millions of new jobs in new manufacturing industries, the report notes.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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