However, this is only one side of the story. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection did a report titled Northeastern Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Short-Term Ambient Air Sampling Report on the effects of drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and surrounding states and what air pollution has been shown as a result . In this study, the air was sampled using two different techniques around a drilling site during fraccing operations as well at a few compressor stations and other well sites.
The results from this report showed that the natural gas emissions at the drilling site during fraccing operations was less than those found at the compressor stations or other well sites. Because of these results, one can see that fraccing may not be the main cause to natural gas emissions. Rather, this could be blamed on other operations during production of the natural gas.
So instead of worrying so much about the air pollution caused by fraccing, we should be focusing on the pollution from other operations. This poses the question of is it worth the pollution to produce this natural gas, should we choose to shut down this operation or figure out ways to eliminate it? To answer this question, it is important to think about what we use natural gas for and the effects it would cause if we did not have it any longer.
As one of the authors of this blog, I would say the answer should not be to shut down natural gas operations, rather think of ways we can prevent these emissions even more than we already are. We need to start focusing on the industry as a whole rather than only being interested in one aspect of the industry.We need more engineers and other people to help create more efficient ways to capture or prevent this natural gas from escaping so that we can more efficiently and effectively produce natural gas from conventional ways as well as fraccing.