Piece image

Gas Planet: The Impact of the Natural Gas Boom on Climate Change

From: The Allegheny Front: Reporting on the Environment
Length: 53:33

Embed_button
Natural gas is causing angst and excitement in local communities across the country, but the rise of fracking will have an impact on an issue that affects everyone on the planet: climate change. Gas Planet, a special hour of radio, explores whether unconventional natural gas can help or hinder efforts to solve climate change. Read the full description.

Gas_planet_vertical_small

GAS PLANET: IS FRACKING ‘WORSE THAN COAL’?

The controversial technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has touched off debates about groundwater contamination, leaks and spills in communities across the country. But there’s another way fracking could impact all of us--climate change. The natural gas harvested through fracking is touted as a cleaner fuel that can reduce carbon emissions.  But new research predicts that fracking could actually be ‘worse than coal.’

Gas Planet, a special hour of radio, explores whether fracking could slow down or speed up climate change.  The program delves into the science behind methane as a greenhouse gas, travels to the field where researchers are measuring methane emissions from fracking sites, and goes to local communities where the fracking boom is taking place.

Reid Frazier hosts Gas Planet, produced by The Allegheny Front in partnership with Innovation Trail.

For photos, interactive maps and graphics, go to http://www.alleghenyfront.org

The one-hour program includes these stories:

Scientists Square Off on Impact of Fracking on Climate Change: A controversial paper by a climate scientist touched off a heated debate. So much so that both sides accuse one another of bias, advocacy, and practicing politics, not science.  

Methane Hunters: To gauge whether fracking is heating the planet, scientists are getting up close and personal with drilling rigs. We tag along on one such field trip and find some results that stunned researchers.

The Potent Life of CH4: We sit down with an atmospheric chemist and a pair of classical singers to break down why methane is up to 100 times as potent a greenhouse gas as its more famous cousin, carbon dioxide.

A Brief Biography of Methane: Why natural gas is like a chuck roast, how coal and oil are formed underground and why methane is the cleanest burning of the fossil fuels.

Fracking: A New York Perspective: If and when drilling comes to New York State, it will most likely begin in places like Deposit, NY. We go into the community and see why fracking is such a divisive issue in this small town.

People Power: What do everyday people know about where their energy comes from? What about climate change and fracking? We talk to people on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to find out.

Natural Gas v. Coal: Is natural gas kicking coal to the curb? This sound-rich piece goes inside a power plant and an uber-secure power grid command center to show why gas is taking over turf formerly held by coal.

More from The Allegheny Front: Reporting on the Environment

Caption: PRX default Piece image

The Allegheny Front for the Week of June 8, 2013 (29:00)
From: The Allegheny Front: Reporting on the Environment

Part II of the Allegheny Front's award winning documentary, "Gas Planet".
Caption: PRX default Piece image

The Allegheny Front for the week of June 1, 2013 (29:00)
From: The Allegheny Front: Reporting on the Environment

Will Methane Emissions Foil the Climate Perks of Natural Gas?

Piece Description

GAS PLANET: IS FRACKING ‘WORSE THAN COAL’?

The controversial technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has touched off debates about groundwater contamination, leaks and spills in communities across the country. But there’s another way fracking could impact all of us--climate change. The natural gas harvested through fracking is touted as a cleaner fuel that can reduce carbon emissions.  But new research predicts that fracking could actually be ‘worse than coal.’

Gas Planet, a special hour of radio, explores whether fracking could slow down or speed up climate change.  The program delves into the science behind methane as a greenhouse gas, travels to the field where researchers are measuring methane emissions from fracking sites, and goes to local communities where the fracking boom is taking place.

Reid Frazier hosts Gas Planet, produced by The Allegheny Front in partnership with Innovation Trail.

For photos, interactive maps and graphics, go to http://www.alleghenyfront.org

The one-hour program includes these stories:

Scientists Square Off on Impact of Fracking on Climate Change: A controversial paper by a climate scientist touched off a heated debate. So much so that both sides accuse one another of bias, advocacy, and practicing politics, not science.  

Methane Hunters: To gauge whether fracking is heating the planet, scientists are getting up close and personal with drilling rigs. We tag along on one such field trip and find some results that stunned researchers.

The Potent Life of CH4: We sit down with an atmospheric chemist and a pair of classical singers to break down why methane is up to 100 times as potent a greenhouse gas as its more famous cousin, carbon dioxide.

A Brief Biography of Methane: Why natural gas is like a chuck roast, how coal and oil are formed underground and why methane is the cleanest burning of the fossil fuels.

Fracking: A New York Perspective: If and when drilling comes to New York State, it will most likely begin in places like Deposit, NY. We go into the community and see why fracking is such a divisive issue in this small town.

People Power: What do everyday people know about where their energy comes from? What about climate change and fracking? We talk to people on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to find out.

Natural Gas v. Coal: Is natural gas kicking coal to the curb? This sound-rich piece goes inside a power plant and an uber-secure power grid command center to show why gas is taking over turf formerly held by coal.

Broadcast History

WESA Pittsburgh, PA: June 24
WQLN Erie, PA: July 15
WPSU State College, PA: June 30 and July 7
WSKG Bimghamton NY: June 27
WXXI Rochester, NY: July 1 and July 4
WRVO Syracuse, NY: July 1
WBFO Buffalo, NY: TBD

Transcript

GAS PLANET

BILLBOARD: (58 S)
JORDAN: Natural gas. Will a new drilling boom for this fuel slow down or speed up climate change?
INGRAFFEA: We don’t have 100 years to fix the problem. We have half a human generation to fix the problem.
HOWARTH: Natural gas is methane and methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas.
JORDAN: Scientists and industry are in the middle of power plays over power sources.
CATHLES: Their conclusions were just completely wrong.
JORDAN: Researchers in the field are hunting for answers.
LIPSKY: Methane 12 is the highest we’ve ever seen...we’re up to 20 parts per million right now and it’s still rising.
JORDAN: Gas Planet, answering questions about fuel, energy and climate change.
CATHLES: Is it as good as going directly to a zero-carbon source?
CHILD: Why is electricity good?
JORDAN: Gas Planet, coming up.

GAS PLANET SHOW (52M 30S)

SEGMENT A
JORDAN: Welc...
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

00:00 - 01:00: Billboard Outcue: Gas Planet, coming up.

01:00 - 06:30 Blank for newscast

06:30 - 19:00 Segment A
Incue: Welcome to Gas Planet
Outcue: For more on fracking and climate change, go to our website, alleghenyfront.org. I'm Reid Frazier.

19:00 - 20:00 Music bed

20:00 - 39:00 Segment B
Incue: You just heard the controversy about fracking and climate change
Outcue: Please stay with us. You're listening to Gas Planet.

39:00 - 40:00 Music bed

40:00 - 59:00 Segment C
Incue: This is Gas Planet, a production of The Allegheny Front and Innovation Trail in New York
Outcue: Support for Gas Planet comes from .....and Colcom Foundation

Additional Files

Additional Credits

Produced by The Allegheny Front in partnership with Innovation Trail
Executive Producer: Kathy Knauer
Technical Director: Joey Spehar
Funding from Colcom Foundation, The Heinz Endowments

Related Website

http://www.alleghenyfront.org