Provide a 50-75 word discussion reply to the following post below.


What are the current concerns regarding natural gas delivery systems in the United States? What can be done to improve them?

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Natural gas delivery systems do have issues and concerns. Natural gas  in itself mainly consists of methane which is considered a greenhouse  gas. This is bad for the environment overall. The storage,  transportation, etc contribute to 4 percent of total US methane  emissions. Drilling a natural gas well on land may require  clearing and leveling an area around the well site. Well drilling  activities produce air pollution and may disturb people, wildlife, and  water resources. Laying pipelines that transport natural gas from wells  usually requires clearing land to bury the pipe. Natural gas production  can also produce large volumes of contaminated water. This water  requires proper handling, storage, and treatment so that it does not  pollute land and other waters. Natural gas wells and pipelines often  have engines to run equipment and compressors, which produce air  pollutants and noise.

Natural gas is often referred to as a ‘bridge’ fuel? What is meant by this, and is this moniker valid?

Natural gas advocates characterize it as a bridge  fuel. The implication is that we will use it now, to achieve short-term  greenhouse gas reductions by replacing coal-fired power, then reduce or  end reliance on natural gas over some time period to lock in long-term  greenhouse gas reductions.  While at first glance this makes sense but  overtime due to leakage the new coal fired plants. There are some  periods in the next 30 years when gas will result in more climate impact  than new coal plants. If leakage is higher than 4 percent, there are  some periods when gas will be worse for the climate than existing coal  plants.

What are the benefits or consequences involved with liquefying  natural gas in order to export gas acquired from the Marcellus and Utica  shales?

Environmental Benefits of LNG. Natural gas is the cleanest  burning fossil fuel and the increased use of natural gas can  significantly improve local air quality and public heath as well as  reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.The push for exports makes sense  for producers who have become the victims of their own success. U.S.  Natural gas prices have plummeted in recent years due to increased  production in gas plays like the Marcellus Shale. The price  of natural gas in the U.S. now hovers around $3.50 per million British  thermal units. But in Europe that same amount of gas fetches more than  $10. So exports would help producers by reducing domestic supply and  increasing prices. The report, conducted for the DOE by the economic  consulting firm NERA, says exports make sense as long as  there’s a glut of natural gas with low production costs in the U.S. and a  high demand overseas. The study concludes that new LNG export terminals  would result in just slight increases in the price of natural gas. The  consequences of liquefying natural gas is air pollution. Cleaner burning  than other fossil fuels, the combustion of natural gas produces  negligible amounts of sulfur, mercury, and particulates. Burning natural  gas does produce nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are precursors to smog,  but at lower levels than gasoline and diesel used for motor vehicles.

What impact does the discovery of the Marcellus and Utica shales have on US energy policy overall?

Federally these discoveries have little impact on the US energy  policy. This is mostly up to each state to decide on what they want to  do. Currently, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia are at the heart of  the eastern shale gas leasing and drilling boom, with tens of thousands  of wells drilled and permits for thousands more already issued. In  December 2014, New York announced it would prohibit high volume  hydraulic fracturing in the state due to growing evidence of damage to  the environment and human health. The process has also been on hold  in Maryland due to public opposition and an in-depth review of risks and  impacts; however, in November 2014 the state completed that work and  issued regulations, signaling the possibility that drilling could move  forward. In the meantime, gas production has expanded in Pennsylvania  and Ohio—giving rise to plans for a network of new pipelines and  compressor stations region-wide to get the gas to market, as well as  increasing volumes of waste that must be managed and disposed of.
eia (2020). Natural Gas Explained. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.) 
Hausfather, Z (Aug 23,2016). Is natural gas a bridge fuel? Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.) 
Earthworks (2019). Marcellus and Utica Shale. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.) 

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