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Natural gas is often touted as the clean energy of the future. The use of natural gas emits 50 to 60% less carbon dioxide than coal and it seems like a no-brainer. However, natural gas contains 70 to 90% methane – a greenhouse gas. This is actually worse for the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. The relationship between natural gas and the environment is complex. Similarly it has direct effects on our indoor air quality and outdoor air pollution. So why do we continue to use it?
Natural gas is classified as a fossil fuel. Natural gas, like other fossil fuels like coal and oil, comes from plants, animals, and microbes that lived millions of years ago.