Fracking sites might be leakier than we thought


I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, this story is about a man named Touché. The bad news is, Touché thinks we could be drastically underestimating the amount of methane that leaks out of industrial fracking operations.

Of course, a lot of people think a lot of things. But Touché Howard is different. He’s a semiretired gas industry consultant who also happens to be the patent holder on the very measuring device that he thinks could be malfunctioning. Here’s the gist from The New York Times:

The problem, according to the author of the paper, Touché Howard, is that the backpack-size tool uses two sensors: one for low levels of methane emissions and one for higher levels. As methane levels rise beyond the capacity of the first sensor, the device hands off to the second, high-level sensor.

Mr. Howard found that under some conditions, unless the sampler is carefully and frequently recalibrated…

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