The revelation Monday that a blowout last year at an Ohio natural gas well owned by an ExxonMobil subsidiary was one of the country’s largest-ever leaks of the potent greenhouse gas methane.

The site leaked more methane in 20 days than all but three European nations emit over an entire year. This provoked impassioned calls for a rapid, just transition to 100% renewable energy nationwide.

The next time some paid liar in the fossil fuel industry insists fracked gas is helping solve the climate crisis, remind them of this single Exxon fracking site. Methane is 84–87 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

A team of American and Dutch scientists studied satellite data and found that the Feb. 15, 2018 blowout at a Belmont County well—which was hydraulically fractured or fracked before the incident—resulted in an “extreme” leakage of methane.

Critics of continuing fossil fuel production pointed to new findings about the blowout and its consequences as evidence of the dangers of using natural gas as a “bridge” in a national—and global—transition to 100% clean energy.

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ExxonMobil, for its part, did not indicate any intention to reconsider fracking or natural gas production in response to the new findings.

ExxonMobil is working with government laboratories, universities, NGO’s, and other industry participants to identify the most cost-effective and best-performing technology, including satellites, that can be adopted by all producers to detect, repair, and accurately measure methane.”

The Mind Unleashed / ABC Flash Point News 2020.

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