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The Boston Globe

Business

EPA methane report could reshape fracking debate

PITTSBURGH — The Environmental Protection Agency has dramatically lowered its estimate of how much of a potent heat-trapping gas leaks during natural gas production, a shift with major implications for a debate that has divided environmentalists: Does the recent boom in fracking help or hurt the fight against climate change?

Oil and gas drilling companies had pushed for the change, but there have been differing scientific estimates of the amount of methane that leaks from wells, pipelines, and other facilities during production and delivery. Methane is the main component of natural gas.

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