How does natural gas affect the environment?
It is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but produces less carbon dioxide per unit energy than other fossil fuels (oil and coal).
Natural gas is a form of “fossil fuel”, although it can be manufactured intentionally or as a byproduct in many processes. Environmentally it is a more potent “greenhouse gas” than carbon dioxide. However, when used as a fuel source it produces less carbon dioxide per unit energy than other fossil fuels (oil and coal).
So, trapped underground or in deep ocean hydrates it does not affect the environment. Released by drilling losses, natural animal digestive processes and organic matter decomposition it creates a higher greenhouse warming effect than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. Burned as a fuel it releases less carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels, and is thus considered a “clean” fuel.