The shale gas industry has long thought that the Environmental Protection Agency would limit its possibilities. But a new report from the regulator is fueling the unconventional natural gas, noting that its heat-trapping emissions are much less than originally thought.

This power generation sector is embracing the results given its increasing reliance on natural gas to provide electricity to its customers. Nevertheless, the news out of EPA is divisive: One school reasons that because natural gas is replacing coal that is twice as toxic, the recent data is a net positive. The other, however, is fearful that the findings may ease the burden to publicly finance and produce cleaner alternatives such as wind and solar energy.