Is replacing coal with natural gas actually good for the climate?

Just ten years ago, around half of all electricity generation in the U.S. was powered by coal. Today, that number has dropped to one third. Over that same time period, electricity generation powered by natural gas has jumped from around 20% to 33%. This trend is expected to continue, with natural gas becoming the primary way that Americans get their electricity. And while we know that natural gas emits less carbon dioxide than coal, that doesn't mean that other emissions related to the production natural gas, such as methane, aren't just as damaging to the environment. In fact, a large body of work over the last 5 years highlights that natural gas' methane emissions can limit the climate benefits replacing coal with natural gas.

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