Though Professor Horwath's study has infirmities and conflicts with other studies, as discussed in the previous post, the natural gas industry should not simply circle the wagons and rebut Professor Horwath.
I urge the industry to meet generally high safety and environmental performance standards and to reduce methane leakage specifically. Major efforts have been undertaken to reduce leakage but now is not the time to be either defensive or satisfied.
Natural gas is inherently a much cleaner product than coal and oil, and it can do substantial good to reduce pollution that causes premature deaths, illness, and climate change. But whether the industry operates at high or low standards of safety and performance impacts both how much good it does and public acceptance of natural gas.
True operational excellence on methane leakage, recycling of water, water disposal, erosion and sediment control, gas well integrity, emergency preparedness are all vital to making real the good that natural gas can do, protecting the natural gas brand and the success of gas.