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Here's the Good News About Fracking

A drilling rig is seen on March 20, 2012 outside Wyalusing, Pennsylvania
A drilling rig is seen on March 20, 2012 outside Wyalusing, PennsylvaniaPhotograph by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

It’s hard to do a dance about methane leakage numbers, but anyone worried about global warming should.

The University of Texas on Tuesday morning released the results of a study suggesting that the amount of methane that escapes during the drilling of a natural gas well is about 1 percent, much less than the government—and across-the-board opponents of fracking—had previously thought. Methane is the main component of natural gas. When burned in an engine, it is a relatively clean source of energy. When released unburned, it is thought to be as powerful a greenhouse gas as any fossil fuel. Keeping it underground while drilling for it is supremely important. This study suggests that this is possible.