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US to cut fracking emissions 95 per cent

Published by Steve Coleman on April 19, 2012

The US Environmental Protection Agency plans to cut the noxious side effects that go with turning shale into natural gas by 95 per cent.

Changes made April 18 to regulations introduced last year will give natural gas companies the option to use flaring to burn off harmful emissions until 2015. After the cutoff date, drillers will have to switch from fire at the end of a stack to "green completions" to scrub anything noxious created during the process.

US President Barack Obama has also created a new high-level task force to coordinate overlapping federal regulations about the fracking process.

The federal Energy Information Administration estimates that shale gas will grow from 23 per cent of US gas production in 2010 to 49 per cent in 2035. EIA, in a report earlier this year, projected that total US gas production will rise from roughly 22 trillion cubic feet in 2010 to around 28 trillion cubic feet in 2035.

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