LANCASTER, N.Y. — As natural gas drilling and fracking continue to increase in the United States, scientists are increasingly concerned about what it means for the world’s oceans.
Lancaster resident Robert Sorensen is among those concerned about how much carbon dioxide would be released from methane that seeps from wells.
Sorensan has worked in natural gas exploration and fracking since 2007.
His research has shown that methane can escape underground if the well water is not treated before it goes into the well.
He’s concerned about the potential release of methane if the water isn’t treated.
“We know the methane can come out of wells.
That’s the first thing that people are looking at,” said Sorenesen.
The methane is generated when natural gas is pumped from underground and released to the atmosphere.
Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
“That’s one of the reasons that the United Nations has declared climate change an emergency,” said Jennifer Coyle, a geologist at the University of California, Davis.
The United Nations’ climate change committee last year voted to hold a meeting in May in New York City to tackle the issue of methane leaks from natural gas operations.
The meeting will also be used to review the proposed methane regulations, which are designed to limit methane emissions from oil and gas wells.
The U.S. Geological Survey says natural gas leaks are the second largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the country.
Methanes are produced when natural oil and natural gas are separated from their natural gas sources and combined.
The federal government requires that the federal government provide $7 billion annually to help states deal with methane leaks.
But the federal agency says the money doesn’t cover the cost of keeping the leaks under control.
“There’s no money in the budget to cover the costs of monitoring the methane levels that are released,” said USGS spokeswoman Julie Williams.
The USGS says if you live in an area with a natural gas well and you use it for electricity, you’ll pay a premium to cover it.
The federal government doesn’t have to pay for the emissions.
Williams says if methane leaks were to cause a global warming disaster, it would be much worse than what’s happening now.
“What we know is that the methane is getting out of the ground and coming out of oil and coal.
The methane comes out of those things,” said Williams.”
So we know that if you’re not doing it, it’s not going to go away.”