From the standpoint of global warming, burning natural gas can be better than burning coal, a study published this week suggests.
This is a contentious issue among people who are opposed to the natural gas drilling practice known as fracking. That technique involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to release far more gas than conventional drilling can. Opponents of fracking have been concerned not only about local environmental issues, but also about the potential for methane leaks to make global warming worse.
"It's hypocritical to say, 'Well, our community doesn't want to be participating in the development of the resources we use everyday and that somebody else's community ought to be producing that energy,'" said Stan Dempsey, president of the Colorado Petroleum Association.