Timothy Skone of the National Energy Technology Lab traveled to Ithaca, NY on May 12 to deliver a presentation at the Cornell University Lecture Series that debunked Professor Horwath's fabulously publicized and fabulously false study purporting to show that gas was dirtier than coal on a carbon life cycle basis. See http://cce.cornell.edu/EnergyClimateChange/NaturalGasDev/Documents/PDFs/SKONE_NG_LC_GHG_Profile_Cornell_12MAY11_Final.PDF
And what did NETL conclude? Coal is much dirtier than gas in terms of its global warming pollution or emissions.
How much dirtier? About 50% to 55% worse for the climate (See pages 34 and 35 of the presentation).
But in this media climate don't expect to see much or any reporting of the NETL presentation on Professor Horwath's home turf. Don't expect to see rational consideration of facts.
Reason is so out and not cool. Some believed the manipulations of a religious talk show personality that May 21st was the Rapture, and too many are ready to believe any fable damning gas, even to the extent of giving coal a pass.
Meanwhile study after study (with more on the way) is debunking Professor Horwath and confirming that coal emits about 50% more global warming pollution on a life cycle basis.
Coal is also responsible for 90% of toxic pollution from the electric industry and 17,000 people per year die prematurely from the current level of toxic pollution from power plants. And gas emits no mercury, arsenic, lead and so on.
But for some, such facts are inconvenient and to be damned in pursuit of nailing natural gas.