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Mission of the York Energy Efficiency Committee

Our mission is to respond to the global warming crisis by promoting energy efficiency, alternative energy, and environmental initiatives throughout the town of York, Maine.
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[Source: The US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)]

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Natural gas not such a good deal for the climate

Natural gas has been presented as a relatively clean “bridge” to a time when renewables are more widely available. However, recent research has found significant leakage of methane during the extraction process. It turns out the there’s almost no climate value in replacing oil and coal with natural gas.

Bridge To Nowhere? NOAA Confirms High Methane Leakage Rate Up To 9% From Gas Fields, Gutting Climate Benefit

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have reconfirmed earlier findings of high rates of methane leakage from natural gas fields. If these findings are replicated elsewhere, they would utterly vitiate the climate benefit of natural gas, even when used to switch off coal.

…Even without a high-leakage rate for shale gas, we know that “Absent a Serious Price for Global Warming Pollution, Natural Gas Is A Bridge To Nowhere.” That was first demonstrated by the International Energy Agency in its big June 2011 report on gas — see IEA’s “Golden Age of Gas Scenario” Leads to More Than 6°F Warming and Out-of-Control Climate Change.  That study — which had both coal and oil consumption peaking in 2020 — made abundantly clear that if we want to avoid catastrophic warming, we need to start getting off of all fossil fuels.

A March 2012 study by climatologist Ken Caldeira and tech guru Nathan Myhrvold came to a similar conclusion using different methodology (see “You Can’t Slow Projected Warming With Gas, You Need ‘Rapid and Massive Deployment’ of Zero-Carbon Power“). They found that even if you could switch entirely over to natural gas in four decades, you “won’t see any substantial decrease in global temperatures for up to 250 years. There’s almost no climate value in doing it.” And that was using conventional (i.e. low) leakage rates.

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