Ahead of Earth Day, an Energy In Depth review of the latest government data shows that U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide and three air pollutants responsible for millions of deaths worldwide have significantly declined since the shale revolution began. This is a trend that multiple reputable third parties agree can be traced directly to increased natural gas use made possible by hydraulic fracturing.

For example, a recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report noted that increased natural gas use helps reduce the three most dangerous pollutants contributing to the 6.5 million air pollution-related deaths sustained in the world each year:

“The edge of natural gas over other combustible fuels is reinforced when considering emissions of the main air pollutants, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), sulfur oxides, mainly sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOX). These three pollutants are responsible for the most widespread impacts of air pollution…”

The latest EPA data show that U.S. sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions are down 82, 49 and 32 percent, respectively, since 2005. At the same time, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data show that natural gas consumption increased 25 percent.

Read the full blog post on EIDClimate.org.