Selected category: Methane

Super-emitters Are Real: Here Are Three Things We Know

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As part of our landmark 16-study series and ongoing work in measuring methane emissions, we previously published a paper that compared and reconciled top-down (airborne-based measurements ) with bottom-up (emissions inventory, using ground-based measurements) emissions.

This paper found that 1% of natural gas production sites accounted for 44% of total emissions from all sites, or 10% of sites 80% of emissions; emission estimates were based on facility-wide (site-based) measurements. Sites or equipment that produce disproportionate shares of total emissions are often called “super-emitters”. A big question that remained was what caused some sites to become a super-emitter; this remained a “black box” without additional knowledge about which components or operational conditions within a site could trigger the high-emissions.

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Also posted in General, Natural Gas| Leave a comment

New Study Improves Understanding of Natural Gas Vehicle Methane Emissions, But Supply Chain Emissions Loom Large

natural-gas-truckBy Joe Rudek and Jason Mathers

Many commercial fleet operators have considered switching their fleet vehicles from diesel to natural gas to take advantage of the growing abundance of natural gas and reduced emissions. Natural gas trucks have the potential to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions (NOx) from freight trucks and buses.

Yet, adopting the emission reduction technologies and practices needed to curb the methane escaping during the production, transport and delivery of natural gas is critical to unlock the full environmental potential of these vehicles. Methane, the main component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas released to the atmosphere at every step from production wells to the vehicle fuel tanks. Even small amounts of methane emitted across the natural gas supply chain can undermine the climate benefit of fuel-switching vehicles to natural gas for some period of time, as EDF research has shown. Read More »

Also posted in General, Natural Gas| Leave a comment

EDF Methane Mapping Partnerships Accelerate Technological Advances in Gas Utility Sector

googlecar2The New York Public Service Commission recently approved plans by National Grid, the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast, to use advanced leak detection and quantification technologies developed by EDF and Google Earth Outreach in order to maximize the environmental and ratepayer benefits of a three-year, $3 billion capital investment program. This program includes plans to replace 585 miles of old, leak-prone pipes on the company’s systems in Long Island and parts of New York City.

The Commission’s December 16 order marks a major step forward in EDF’s efforts to accelerate the diffusion of environmentally beneficial technologies – in this case cutting edge methane emission measurement tools – by natural gas utilities. Read More »

Also posted in Energy Innovation, Natural Gas| Tagged | Comments are closed

Why Pennsylvania is moving forward to reduce methane pollution

Oil and gas methane emissions in Pennsylvania. Image source: Environmental Protection Agency

Oil and gas methane emissions in Pennsylvania. Image source: Environmental Protection Agency

Recently the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) took  an important first step to implement new requirements aimed at reducing methane emissions from new oil and gas operations.

Methane is the main component of natural gas – 51% of Pennsylvania households depend on it to fuel their homes. The more methane is wasted, the less there is to deliver to the PA communities that depend on it. Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, Climate, Natural Gas, Pennsylvania| Comments are closed

Western Leaders, Attorneys General Support BLM’s Oil and Gas Waste Policies in Court

8362494597_b5e016f63f_zBy Jon Goldstein and Peter Zalzal

The legal fight to defend the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recent efforts to prevent oil and gas companies from wasting methane on public and tribal owned land continued yesterday.

EDF and a coalition of local, regional, tribal and national allies filed a brief opposing efforts by industry organizations and a handful states to block BLM’s protections before they even come into effect.  Read More »

Also posted in California, Natural Gas| Tagged | Comments are closed

Managing Methane: New Jersey’s Largest Utility Using Better Data for Better Decisions

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Data helps prioritize gas line replacement

By Simi Rose George and Virginia Palacios 

A new method of prioritizing gas infrastructure improvements is resulting in faster reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in New Jersey. Just over a year ago, we wrote about an order from the state’s Board of Public Utilities approving a settlement agreement for a $905 million, three-year pipe replacement program by PSE&G, New Jersey’s largest gas utility. This order, and the underlying settlement agreement were pioneering in one major aspect – PSE&G agreed to use environmental data to inform its infrastructure improvement efforts.

The order provided that the company would use data on leak flow rate (the speed at which methane is leaking from gas pipes) to help prioritize its local distribution pipe (“gas line”) replacement program. PSE&G is the first utility in the country to do so. The idea was that this data would be gathered by EDF as part of a collaborative project with Google Earth Outreach and Colorado State University through a survey of sections of PSE&G’s service territory targeted for gas line replacement. Read More »

Also posted in Climate, Data Access, Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas, New Jersey| Tagged , | Comments are closed
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