The environmental scandal that’s happening right beneath your feet

The Cornell study focused on a poorly understood problem with methane, the main constituent of natural gas. Methane’s green credentials only apply when the gas is burned. If it escapes into the atmosphere instead, methane acts as a potent greenhouse gas — in fact, it is over 20 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. The issue was well known but little studied: methane does not hang around in the atmosphere for long, so scientists had assumed that the odd leak would not undermine its use as a bridge fuel.

.. At one point they argued that a town, unlike a corporation, is not a person in the eyes of the law and so cannot sue.

Fracking’s Achilles’ Heel

A bridge fuel is precisely what many in the environmental movement don’t want, of course. After all, natural gas may be cleaner, but it is still a fossil fuel — and thus, in their view, part of the problem because they believe that an abundance of natural gas could delay their long-sought nirvana of a world powered by alternative energy sources.