Author Archives: Jon Goldstein

New study confirms (again): New Mexico’s methane hot spot largely tied to oil and gas pollution

In 2014, NASA scientists published their discovery of a methane “hot spot” hovering over New Mexico’s San Juan Basin. The 2,500-square-mile methane cloud is the largest area of elevated methane concentration ever measured in the U.S., and is so big scientists can spot it from space.

While some have tried to debate the cause of the hot spot, it is more than mere coincidence that the San Juan Basin is one of the most productive natural gas fields in North America, and that oil and gas development is the leading industrial cause of methane emissions nationally.

Manmade methane emissions  are an urgent concern for scientists and policy makers since they are responsible for about a quarter of current global warming, which is why Scientists from NASA and NOAA embarked on a series of studies to try to pinpoint the source of New Mexico’s methane cloud. Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Climate, Methane, Natural Gas| Comments are closed

$1.5 billion and counting: real time “waste ticker” reveals value of publicly owned gas that private companies waste

Across the country, oil and gas companies allow massive quantities of natural gas, worth billions of dollars, to leak into the air — and when it happens on federal lands, it’s the American public who loses.  A new interactive tool lets users see, in real time, just how much American-owned gas private companies waste every second.

Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, Natural Gas| Comments are closed

WATCH: New Mexico Residents Cheer BLM for Tackling Methane Waste

Last month the Bureau of Land Management took a much needed step to prevent the oil and gas industry from needlessly wasting American energy resources.

For oil and gas companies operating on public and tribal lands, the new standards will reduce the amount of methane that operators can leak, vent or burn into the atmosphere. These methane emissions result in massive amount of energy waste that translates to lost revenues for federal taxpayers and tribes. One recent analysis suggests that without these standards, taxpayers could lose out on more than $800 million in royalty revenue over the next decade. Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, BLM Methane, Methane, Natural Gas| Tagged , | Comments are closed

Face the Facts: BLM Methane Rules Needed, Have Wide Bipartisan Support

It’s unfortunate that a partisan group of Congressional representatives recently tried to turn back the clock on new rules from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that can protect taxpayers and local communities from the needless waste of our natural gas resources and methane pollution.

It was a disappointing move, considering that a bipartisan group of elected officials came together to defend the BLM’s natural gas waste rule during a budget fight on the House floor in July.

Some members of Congress are really good at expressing their opinions.  However, in this case the facts clearly show that efforts to cut waste and protect our air are necessary and warranted.

Fact: Despite some creative data cherry-picking to spin a different story, the data is clear that methane emissions from oil and gas operations have grown significantly in the past decade (up 8% since 2005). Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, Methane, Natural Gas| Comments are closed

New Report Highlights Need for BLM to Slash Methane Waste, Pollution

330MThe U.S. Bureau of Land Management should do more to protect taxpayers from unnecessary waste of their natural gas resources. That’s the main takeaway from a new report from the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office.  Its findings again underline the urgent need for BLM to finalize strong new standards to reduce methane waste.

Methane is both the primary component of natural gas and a very potent climate pollutant. In fact, pound for pound, methane is more than 80 times worse for our climate than carbon dioxide in the short term. This means that unnecessary methane waste and pollution like the GAO found in this new report is a double whammy – depriving taxpayers of revenue due to us for the development of our natural gas resources and dangerously accelerating climate change.

The GAO finds that BLM needs more consistent policies in place to better limit methane waste and pollution from the oil and gas production it oversees on hundreds of thousands of acres of federal and tribal lands. It’s a big problem. Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, General, Methane, Natural Gas| Comments are closed

How Cutting Methane Waste Won the West – By Record Numbers

Cactus and Rig credit EarthworksOver the past few months, hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. have spoken out in support of action on one very important topic: methane.

Methane is the main ingredient of natural gas.  It helps heat our homes and power our economy.  But when leaked or vented into the atmosphere, methane is also a potent greenhouse gas, more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20 year timeframe.

The oil and gas industry is the nation’s largest source of methane emissions, but new action from the Bureau of Land Management could help change that dynamic out West.

The majority of oil and gas production on federal and tribal lands occurs in the western U.S. Unfortunately, the companies that extract the oil and gas that belongs to the American people are allowing way too much methane to escape to the atmosphere. One recent report found that taxpayers may lose more than $800 million in revenue over the next decade due to venting and flaring on public lands if no action is taken. This is a critical reason for why the BLM recently issued a new proposal designed to stop industry’s wasteful methane habits on federal and tribal lands. And why thousands of impacted community members have voiced their support for BLM’s proposal. Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, Methane, Natural Gas| Read 3 Responses
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