I work for a climate action consulting firm and my company is currently trying to decide between using "fossil gas" or "methane gas." As a climate writer, I prefer using "methane gas" because oftentimes using "fossil gas" results in sentences like this: "The new regulations target fossil fuels like coal, oil, and fossil gas." The double use of "fossil" always feels so clunky! Anyways, so glad to see this conversation popping up in popular climate outlets! Let's erase "natural" and make the fossil exec bros weep.

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Note: the "Old White Dude" trope is looking a bit stale given the growing number of black and native Republican and Trumpy US Senators and Congresspeople (hello Oklahoma and South Carolina, etc.) and the many Republican women climate deniers and fossil fuel advocates. Speaking here as an Old White Dude"--HOT GLOBE by Steve Chapple

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Brilliant and long overdue post by HEATED. There have been in recent years some good intentions with "methane-powered" city bus fleets, but important to make the distinction until green hydrogen or lithium ferrous phosphate batteries can start running heavy vehicles. HOT GLOBE by Steve Chapple

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Better late than never. I hadn't even considered that "natural gas" is euphemistic industry-speak, so I appreciate the attention you've given the subject.

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Yessss!!! Methane it is!! Thanks for the John Oliver clip. What a gem!

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Excellent article as always. I hope you get to the bottom of this, and shocking that we taxpayers are paying for this. Further comments:

The good thing with methane is the solutions are doable and understood: cap the fossil fuel leaks (a political issue,) change the feed on cows and eat less beef/sheep/goats,) grow rice differently, and capture methane from cows/pigs etc. Not easy, not yet happening, but all understood.

One thing not yet talked about much is INDIA. India has by far the most cows, by far and here we go beyond diet and politics to religion, always a tricky subject for our species: a quick survey below, but how can India reduce methane from cows when they are so widely distributed? :

India has an estimated 305,500,000 cattle, coming to a total of 0.22 cows per person living in India. This figure is said to increase, but despite the demand for red meat remaining steady in 2023, India doesn’t export more beef for slaughter.

In India, the consumption of red meat from cattle is forbidden, and most cows are considered sacred, so the local population only consumes milk from the cows.

After India it's Brazil (which exports a lot,) China which doesn't, then the US. The US is actually far down the list if you want to cap methane, and with BR is probably the easiest place to do it.


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A pleasure as always to shine more scientific reality into your papers…..

A few things….

Natural gas…. err.. methane .. occurs naturally in nature so its .. well natural..

Methane is a greenhouse gas but way down the list of generators.. water vapour is X100 time more important.

Does burning natural gas produce nitrogen oxides?

Its cleaner burning than other fossil fuels, the combustion of natural gas produces negligible amounts of sulfur, mercury, and particulates. Burning natural gas does produce nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are precursors to smog, but at lower levels than gasoline and diesel used for motor vehicles…. It can be contained in the process.

What happens when natural gas burns?

When natural gas burns, a high-temperature blue flame is produced and complete combustion takes place producing only water vapor and carbon dioxide. It has a heating value of about 1000 BTUs per cubic foot. However, when it burns improperly, it can produce carbon monoxide – a deadly, poisonous gas…. This is managed with controls.

So in a way as CO2 is an even lower risk to the green house effect than methane in the same concentration… so we are doing a good thing by converting it into CO2.

Of course there is now growing evidence that CO2 is not a problem to the planet and is mainly a benefit to our food supply and a warming planet is better than a cold one.. Also, there is no evidence that CO2 increase has any control on global temperature.

On another point.. although the current and foolish doctrine is to go to net zero on CO2 we believe that reality will kick in soon when we see it’s a huge mistake and a massive trade off with prosperity and even the sustainability of our civilizations and will for certain prevent emerging economies from…. well ……emerge...

And even if we do want to get off fossil fuels its going to take time and will require a nuclear solution far more than wind and solar that just don’t make sense..

Full electrification of transportation is a mistake based on just the lack of refuel infrastructure alone, and the best mid term action is a hybrid solution which needs to be a focus.

Pollution of the oceans and air and water quality we consume is a worthy goal but you will need to realign you agenda to be credible on that.

Deglobalizing will greatly assist the oceans as will fish farming rather than open fishing.

I hope this is clear enough?

I have significant links to credible scientific papers if you need..


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Good decision although late. Glad you were upfront about that. Curious about why you didn’t provide a link to comment to EPA about leaker plants?

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Celebrating the long weekend....Just for fun..... Comedian WRECKS The Woke Culture Today In A Futuristic Speech! - YouTube


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Methane is a more accurate term for “natural gas.”

At the risk of reminding people that I might be just a grumpy old man, I’ll link to blog post I wrote 15 years ago about using “methane” to help counter the well funded industry effort to label that hydrocarbon fuel as “clean” and “low carbon.”


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Technically speaking, . . . . You're right! The natural gas that comes out of the ground is a mix of hydrocarbons, typically with other gasses, notably CO2, mixed in. It undergoes a separation process so that the stuff inserted into the pipelines is nearly pure CH4 (methane). Calling it 'natural' gas is akin to calling gasoline 'natural petroleum'.

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Methane gas is a great term to change to. Hopefully it also enables a more immediate connection between methane gas and the problem of methane leaks.

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Methane gas. Works for me. Their industry is really pissing me off. I fell for the "bridge fuel" thing, w/o understanding the YUGE GHG warming from leaked methane gas. Also, I thought methane-fueled backup (to variable renewable) plants were being built, not baseload plants. Now, we make any move which would actually reduce methane gas production, and they whip up the culture wars and disinformation, and on and on. Even reducing venting and leaks becomes "gas tax."

The Aussie energy minister called 'em on it. Just said approximately the future of gas is just as backup fuel." At least domestically there, we'll see if they are able to reduce exports.

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Natural gas is homeopathic gas. Makes your skin glow and you can buy it at Goop

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In a world that is trying to market Green Natural Gas, I refer to methane as Unnatural Gas when giving testimony or LTE. We need to be clear that this is far from natural, and it is a burnt hydrocarbon releasing greenhouse gases as a by-product.

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So, this morning I cooked my eggs & bacon over a fire fueled by cattle flatulence, right? Until today I didn't realize "natural" gas was actually methane. So, yeah - I think it's a damn good idea to stop with the corporate euphemisms and remind people of the scientific facts rather than continuing to echo the fossil fuel marketing campaigns.

A few years ago I visited a Masai tribe just outside the Serengeti that used dried cow dung as shingles on their homes, as well as fuel for their fires. I guess we haven't progressed all that much after all.

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