According to a new study from NASA, natural gas production facilities appear to be to blame for a high concentration of methane in the Four Corners region.
Southwestern Colorado has seen an unusually high concentration of methane for more than a decade. NASA used aircraft-mounted sensors to track pollution from more than 250 sources-- mostly gas wells, storage tanks, processing facilities and pipelines. They believe only a few dozen cites are causing the problem.
A coalition of gas industry groups called the study a good, but limited, look at the problem. They contend the research was too brief and narrowly focused to draw larger conclusions. The federal government is working with universities on further studies of methane in the region.
While methane is a powerful contributor to climate change, this concentration should not make people sick.