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Debate Over Flaring Fires Up

Stout: More harmful than burning coal

June 28, 2013

NATRIUM — As President Barack Obama aims to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, biology professor Ben Stout wishes someone would pay more attention to methane emissions from natura......

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Jun-28-13 6:06 AM

Quote from the article: "Once the plant is fully operational, it (the flare) will seldom be used." What is the definition of "seldom?" The huge MarkWest plant near Houston, Pa has been fully operational for some time now, but is a constant nuisance to area residents with repeated "upsets" -- that is what MW calls it when their monster flare stack belches black smoke resembling a tire fire, smoke that can seen and smelled for miles around. Anyone who thinks the move from coal to natural gas is going to improve the air and reduce the number of CODE ORANGE days around the tri-state is deluding themselves. You are LIVING in the middle of Gasland, not just watching it on the silver screen. Wait until there are tens of thousands of wells instead of less than 10,000 now.

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Jun-28-13 8:01 AM

These experts attacking flaring need to come up with healthy alternatives to producing energy. Opposing these methods isn't enough, criticism comes cheap, solving clean energy problems as we come to find isn't easy or cheap.

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Jun-28-13 8:28 AM

"the carbon footprint of the President is about 41,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year. This is the equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of about 2200 American households."

I was looking into putting a solar hot water system in my house. Doing the "real" math (not what the goberment claims) my ROI would be around 110 years! The greatest demand for hot water is in the AM.

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Jun-28-13 8:09 PM

Marcellus is absolutely right. A move from Coal to gas will likely wind up being worse for the air as well as for your bank account. There are some satellite photos available for some of the major gas fields out west - North Dakota and Texas - and the night shots are impressive, for Dakota, especially. The gas field flaring outshines, as seen from space, any of the nearby cities. And, is the CO2 thus generated being accounted for? Nope. But, flaring is better than releasing Methane, which is a much, much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

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