Delaware-sized methane cloud hovers over New Mexico
The Delaware-sized methane cloud over New Mexico has become an increasing cause for concern and a point of contention among environmentalists and energy companies. The Washington Post reports that despite its 25 hundred square mile spread, the plume isn't visible from the ground, and thus went largely undetected for some time. About 3 years ago its presence was brought to light when it showed up on images taken by NASA satellites.
The researchers who looked into the matter were so shocked by the readings that they were certain something had malfunctioned. It turned out that was not the case and the massive gaseous spread is real. The primary cause is fuel mining, as methane release is a side effect of a number of extraction processes. While methane itself is an energy source, it's not one that companies drilling for oil are particularly interested in collecting or containing.
Environmentalists and a number of scientists on the other hand are greatly concerned about the effects of leaving such a powerful greenhouse gas flow freely into the air. The cloud has even been considered monstrous by some. President Obama is expected to soon announce measures to shrink the cloud's size, but while the specifics are not known, members of Congress who support the energy industry are expected to push back.
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