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Although there remain many unanswered questions about the environmental impacts of fracking, new data from the EPA suggest that at least their loss of natural gas into the atmosphere is not as dramatic as some observations had suggested. Recent analysis of NOAA data on atmospheric methane in the vicinity of a few fracking wells had given cause for concern. This new, broader study by the EPA suggests that the wells used in the NOAA-data study were leakier because they were older and weren’t using newer, less leak-prone technology, and because the nature of those well’s oil and gas deposits require different, leakier processing than most. The new data suggests that previous EPA estimates, substantially lower than the NOAA-data results, are in line with the actual leakage. Ars Technica has the story: http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/02/how-leaky-is-shale-gas-production/

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