The myth of clean natural gas

Natural gas is barely better than coal. It needs to go.

A natural gas plant.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The rise of fracking has transformed America's fossil fuels sector. With fracked oil and natural gas, the United States has once again become one of the world's top energy producers, nearly matching Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Natural gas in particular has gotten wide attention, in part because it is much more carbon-efficient than coal when burned to produce electricity. The slogan was that it could serve as a "bridge fuel" between dirty coal and clean renewables — and thus fight climate change, at least relative to continuing reliance on coal.

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