Report Examines Complications of Natural Gas as a Bridge Fuel

Natural gas may not be of much use as a “bridge” fuel en route to achieving significant cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions unless its use is accompanied by rigorous policies aimed at curbing emissions – policies that some analysts say should be designed to harness gas as an ally of renewable-energy sources, rather that as a competitor. 
That is the implication of a new study analyzing the effect of globally abundant natural gas on competing energy sources and on greenhouse-gas emissions. The global abundance would result from the use of techniques such as hydraulic fracturing to tap so-called “unconventional” sources of natural gas worldwide. 
Assuming that no new climate policies are adopted beyond those that are in place today and that market forces continue to determine the price of gas, an international team of researchers found that gas would replace coal – a help in curbing the emission of greenhouse gases, since natural gas releases about half the carbon dioxide coal does per unit of energy produced.
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