A new study finds that the process of drilling and fracking for natural gas doesn't seem to spew immense amounts of the greenhouse gas methane into the air, as has been feared.
This bolsters a big selling point for natural gas, that it's not as bad for global warming as coal. And it undercuts a major environmental argument against fracking, a process that breaks apart deep rock to recover more gas. The study doesn't address other fracking pollution concerns.
The results, which generally agree with earlier EPA estimates, were published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
About 90 percent of the study funding came from nine energy companies that drill for natural gas. The rest came from the Environmental Defense Fund.