The Fort Worth Star Telegram has a good article on a new study out of the University of Texas finding that methane emissions from oil and gas development is not nearly as bad as environmentalists have claimed:  "So-called ‘green’ completion equipment is very effective at capturing methane emissions on new natural gas wells, but other devices at well sites allow more gas to escape than previously estimated, a new study shows. *** Overall, the emissions from natural gas well sites were in line with current estimates by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and are much lower than earlier estimates by drilling critics."

For a copy of the study, see here (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

For other reports, see here (Capital Public Radio News) ("Some scientists have argued that so much gas leaks out during production that it is actually worse for the environment than coal. But a new nationwide study shows that methane leaks from natural gas production aren’t as bad as some feared."), and here (Environmental Defense Fund) ("First, methane emissions during ‘well completion’ – the process of getting the well ready to produce gas after it is drilled and fractured – are lower than current EPA estimates. This is because the majority of wells tested were using “green completion” technology or flares which were shown to be highly effective in reducing methane emissions at this point in the production process.").

Shouldn’t this be celebrated as good news?