E2 Round-up: Dems investigate 'fracking,' Canada worries over U.S. greenhouse gas limits

The natural gas industry has dreaded efforts in Congress to increase federal regulation of fracturing. But in their memo, Waxman and Markey also praise “new techniques” that have boosted gas supplies, which offer a potential way to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas emits about half of the carbon dioxide that coal does when burned.

The Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein offers more full throated support for natural gas in his column today. Pearlstein sees natural gas as a "silver bullet" in the push to lower greenhouse gases.

“Decommission about two-thirds of the electric-generating capacity fueled by cheap and plentiful coal, and replace it with power generated from cheap and plentiful natural gas, which emits half as much carbon for each megawatt of electricity,” Pearlstein writes.

Canadian officials are seeking assurances that U.S. greenhouse gas regulations won’t interfere with trade between Canada and the United States. A delegation is meeting with EPA Administration Lisa Jackson and other administration officials today.

“Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, chairman of the Council of the Federation, said he worries that plans by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions could prompt Washington to impose protectionist barriers on oil and other Canadian products made from carbon-intensive industries,” in the Montreal Gazette.