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  • The Q&A Forum

    The Q&A Forum

    Rock Products Presents the 2017 Quarry and Aggregates (Q&A) Forum: Industry Thought Leaders Open Up On Where We Are Going and How We Will Get There. By Mark S. Kuhar and Josephine Smith Read More
  • Plant Equipment Delivers Information That Producers Can Use. By Mark S. Kuhar Read More
  • Remote-Monitoring Tools Drive Results

    Remote-Monitoring Tools Drive Results

  • Pumping Up Production

    Pumping Up Production

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Rock From The Road: Blog & Travelogue

Nov. 15, 2017 – Caterpillar held a product demonstration at Tower Rock Stone in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., to show off the capabilities of its new 988K XE electric drive loader.

Prime-Time Products

The new Cat 988K XE is the first wheel loader offered by Caterpillar with a high-efficiency electric drive system. This new large wheel loader joins the industry leader 988K and...
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Manufacturers in Focus

A record number of equipment manufacturing industry companies were recognized for their outstanding commitment to advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) recent...
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People on the Move

Aggregates industry veteran Ed Elliott joined The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as a senior advisor to the acting assistant secretary.
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Rock Stars

George Sidney of McLanahan Corp., was honored with the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association's (NSSGA) Grasstops CEO of the Year award.
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Resource Center

Study: Methane Leakage from Shale Gas Lower Than Alleged


Initial findings from a new comprehensive study undertaken by the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of Texas found that methane leakage rates from natural gas systems were far below estimates of previous studies.

In 2011, a study released from Cornell University led by ecologist Robert Howarth purported to show high levels of methane “leakage” from natural gas systems, including wells that had been hydraulically fractured. The Howarth study indicated that as much as 7.9 percent of natural gas developed from shale was leaking into the atmosphere thus negating its carbon-friendly advantages.

Studies since the release of the Howarth report have all tended to dispute or outwardly challenge the findings contained in the report. However, initial findings from the new study should leave little doubt.
The first part of the EDF study confirms the consensus reached by most scientists that methane leakage rates from natural gas systems were far below the estimates provided in the Howarth report. The study reviewed emissions associated with well development, production, and completions and found leakage of methane fell below estimates made by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The agency's most recent data found that overall leakage from the natural gas production process was actually below 1.5 percent.

Using their own writings, critics of the use of natural gas have claimed that leakage rates must fall below 2 to 3 percent in order to obtain any benefit from the use of natural gas. This report simply confirms USEPA's findings of leakage rates well below those found in the Howarth study and even below the thresholds set forth by critics of the natural gas industry.