Appalachian pipeline emissions would be equal to 42 coal-fired power plants

Given the crisis of global climate change, anti-fossil fuel activists have sought to draw attention to the climate impacts of extracting, transporting, and burning natural gas, whose primary component is methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Oil Change International, a nonprofit research group, studied one of the largest proposed natural gas pipelines in the Appalachian region and came away with precise calculations of the pipeline project’s climate impact.

The Rover Pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) — the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline — will produce emissions equivalent to about 145 million metric tons of carbon dioxide on an annual basis, equal to the greenhouse gas emissions produced by 42 coal-fired power plants, the group says in a report.

For its calculations, Oil Change International converted methane leakage to carbon dioxide equivalent using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 20-year global warming potential factor of 86, or one ton of methane vented or leaked to the atmosphere is equivalent to 86 tons of carbon dioxide.

The Rover Pipeline’s proposed route runs 510 miles from southwest Pennsylvania and northwest West Virginia, through Ohio to Michigan. The project will carry 3.25 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

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