OOS 3 - Natural Gas: Ecology, Environment, and Economics

Monday, August 6, 2012: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
A105, Oregon Convention Center
Nathan Phillips, Boston University
Shanna Cleveland, Conservation Law Foundation; Robert W. Howarth, Cornell University; and Robert B., Jackson, Duke University
Nathan Phillips, Boston University
Natural gas is considered a relatively clean source of energy and a “bridge fuel” to a post-fossil energy future. However, extraction techniques and losses of gas in extraction, processing, transport and distribution could, if unchecked, reduce the environmental benefits of natural gas. Potential impacts include groundwater contamination; greenhouse warming potential of lost and unaccounted gas; land use change; and alteration of urban ecosystems due to distribution leaks. The goal of this Organized Oral Session is to examine the range of ecological, environmental, and economic interactions associated with the entire Natural Gas Process Chain. To date, studies have focused on individual aspects of natural gas, whether by type of impact or geography. Our objective is to synthesize knowledge and improve understanding across the entire process chain, from rural extraction to urban distribution, and to consider rural-urban interdependencies among communities dependent on natural gas. This session is focused on natural gas, but has broader implications for ESA membership. This topic spans rural to urban geography, and will therefore appeal to ecologists working in either or both types of systems. Soil ecologists will be interested in how gas leaks may impact soil biogeochemical processes. Physiological ecologists will be interested in vegetation physiological response to the novel soil environment created by gas leaks. Landscape ecologists may be interested in how rural pipeline construction may fragment landscape and create ecological barriers or corridors. More broadly, this topic has important implications for global climate change, which is of clear importance to the entire ESA membership and to the theme of the meeting.
1:50 PM
 Policy levers to spur a cleaner natural gas distribution system
Shanna Cleveland, Conservation Law Foundation
2:30 PM
 Fingerprinting and accounting urban methane leaks
Adrian Down, Duke University; Robert B. Jackson, Stanford and Duke universities; Jonathan Karr, Duke University; Eric Crosson, Picarro, Inc.; Robert Ackley, Gas Safety Inc.; Nathan Phillips, Boston University
2:50 PM
 Novel soil ecosystems created by natural gas leaks
Margaret Hendrick, Boston University; Courtney Carroll, Boston University; Nathan Phillips, Boston University
3:10 PM
4:00 PM
 Global warming and natural gas: The role of methane
Robert W. Howarth, Cornell University; Renee Santoro, Cornell University; Anthony Ingraffea, Cornell University
4:20 PM
 Ecological and environmental dimensions of shale gas extraction
Robert B. Jackson, Stanford and Duke universities; Avner Vengosh, Duke University; Adrian Down, Duke University; Nathaniel R. Warner, Duke University; Stephen G. Osborn, California State Polytechnic Institute; Kaiguang Zhao, Duke University; Tom Darrah, Duke University
4:40 PM
 Achieving an accurate public understanding of shale gas impacts: Opportunities for scientists and educators
Kenneth M. Klemow, Wilkes University; Dale A. Bruns, Wilkes University
See more of: Organized Oral Session