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What It Takes To Get Sustained Climate Benefits From Natural Gas

Thursday, November 8, 2012 | 12:00 PM

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Please join us Thursday, November 8, for the second installment in our policy workshop webinar series, Emerging Issues in Shale Gas Development.

The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy presents:

The Policy Workshop Webinar Series: Emerging Issues in Shale Gas Development

What It Takes To Get Sustained Climate Benefits From Natural Gas
Thursday, November 8, 2012 | 12:00-1:00 PM EST
Speaker: Dr. Ramón Alvarez, Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund

A recording of the webinar is available for viewing at http://vimeo.com/53278285. The powerpoint presentation can be downloaded here.

The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy invites you to participate in our second annual policy workshop webinar series, Emerging Issues in Shale Gas Development. Natural gas extraction generally, and shale gas extraction in particular, have become highly charged issues as stakeholders debate their effects on environmental and public health and their role in our future energy mix. This webinar series seeks to answer important questions about extraction, the environment, and the future of energy by grounding that debate with expert speakers from a variety of disciplines.

In the second installment of our series, Dr. Ramón Alvarez will discuss the ongoing efforts to better quantify the methane losses associated with natural gas production.

His presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Presentation Abstract:

Today, shale gas is part of a modern day Gold Rush. In 1990, shale gas contributed 1 percent of America’s natural gas; in 2009, 16 percent; today some 30 percent. By 2035, that number is projected to hit 49 percent. This could be a good thing: domestic shale gas has already created hundreds of thousands of jobs, and it could increase America’s energy security. It could also accelerate the development of a cleaner, less carbon-intensive economy, because gas burns much cleaner than coal or oil and doesn’t emit mercury or other dangerous pollutants produced by coal. But natural gas extraction can also cause serious problems, including dangerous air pollution levels, ground and surface water contamination, and ecosystem disruption. Moreover, though natural gas emits only half the greenhouse gas of coal when burned, it could end up accelerating global warming in the short-term. Why? Because natural gas consists mostly of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide, and because some amount of the natural gas produced at wells is emitted to the atmosphere before reaching end users. This presentation will discuss analytical approaches for assessing the climatic implications of methane losses associated with the natural gas supply and summarize ongoing efforts to better quantify those emissions.

About the Speaker:

Ramón Alvarez, Ph.D., is a senior scientist in the Texas office of Environmental Defense Fund. He promotes cleaner air in Texas cities, with an emphasis on reducing emissions from oil and gas production, electric power plants, and diesel vehicles. He led EDF's campaign to establish the successful Texas Clean School Bus Program and worked with US-Mexico border industries to find cost-effective methods to reduce waste.

Dr. Alvarez serves on the Advisory Council of the Texas Air Quality Research Program and the North Texas Clean Air Steering Committee. He has previously served on the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Research Council, the Science Advisory Committee of the Texas Environmental Research Consortium, the Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the boards of the American Lung Association of Texas and the Texas Center for Policy Studies, several advisory committees on regional air quality, the Editorial Board of Environmental Engineering Science, and the Environmental Board of the City of Austin.

Dr. Alvarez obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry from Duke University and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, where he carried out research on atmospheric and combustion processes. At UC Berkeley he was a National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow and a lecturer in Environmental Chemistry.

About the Series:

Hosted and sponsored by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, our second annual webinar series highlights emerging issues in shale gas development. The series is publicly available online and promoted to both domestic and international academic and policy communities, including governmental officials, think tank analysts, climate change advocates, professors, and students. The webinar format enables interested parties to access and participate in these presentations from anywhere in the world.

The series is free and open to the public.

To register for the online event:
1. Go to https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/790770447
2. Click "Register."
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click "Submit."

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.

Please note that this webinar series uses VoIP, and audio quality can vary based on your audio software/hardware manufacturer as well as your operating system. For details on VoIP device recommendations and best practices, please visit Go-to-Webinar's online resource guide.

A recording of the presentation will be posted online for public access after the event. 

System Requirements:
PC-based attendees
Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Mac-based attendees
Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
Mobile attendees
iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

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