Natural Gas vs. Diesel; impact on climate

February 17, 2014

The journal Science recently published a research paper on methane leaks at natural gas drilling sites, and the New York Times used that paper to make a claim that switching to natural gas fuels for trucks would actually be worse for the environment than continued reliance on diesel.  This is a bizarre claim that has nothing to do with the Science paper in the first place and which is largely unsubstantiated by the general literature in the second place.  Michael Levi at the CFR’s Energy, Security and Climate blog takes the Times’ article apart and delves deep into the published science on the issue.  The real conclusion is that, when considering modern and efficient engines designed for natural gas, there is a real climate advantage in such a switch.  Read the whole thing, and then pray that policymakers are wise enough to ignore the popular press when considering science and engineering related issues.

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