(Graphic Courtesy of the Energy Information Administration)
The impacts relating to Natural Gas includes the production of natural gas for consumer use (electricity generation, home heating, cooking, other appliances) and products made from the petrochemical by-products (plastics and similar).
Steps can include:
- Processing (removal of contaminants and hydrocarbon gas liquid)
- Transportation (pipelines, trucks, barge)
- Storage (Aquifers, Salt Caverns, Depleted oil and gas fields)
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the environmental impacts of natural gas impact global warming, cause air and water pollution, impact land use and can be responsible for earthquakes depending on production methods.
While the gas industry often claims that gas is a “cleaner fuel alternative.” Natural gas actually emits 50 to 60% less CO2 when used in newer power plants, but when considering the full life cycle, it is far from clean. When looking at greenhouse gas impacts, methane, the primary product, is more than 30% stronger a greenhouse gas impact than CO2, and it remains in the atmosphere over a much longer period of time. So the claim of Natural Gas being cleaner than Coal is arguable at best.
Impacts to the Public
- Natural Gas Power Plants
- Pipelines (land use, leakage, health impacts)
- Drilling (Fracking or other methods)
- Produced Drilling Waste and Disposal
Natural Gas Power Plants in Kentucky
- Big Sandy Power Plant: Louisa, KY. (Ky. Power, 1097MW). Converted from coal to gas in 2016.
- Cane Run Generating Station: Louisville, KY. (LG&E. 640 MW). Converted from coal to natural gas in 2017.
- E.W. Brown Generating Station: Harrodsburg, KY (Ky. Utilities, 464 MW) Contains coal, natural gas, hydro and solar generation.
- Paradise Fossil Plant: Drakesboro, KY. (TVA, 1150 MW). Contains coal and natural gas units.
Natural Gas Distribution Service Areas in Kentucky