Energy Exchange

Methane policy is a test of investors’ post-COP climate commitment. Will they pass?

Climate pledges and statements of support from the financial industry ring hollow unless and until firms support public policies that will deliver required emission cuts. That’s at risk of happening now as major asset managers have remained silent on a proposed new Environmental Protection Agency rule requiring oil and gas producers to cut their methane emissions.

Now is the time for investors to speak up. By backing the regulation, the financial sector has a crucial, cost-effective opportunity to support the mitigation of short-term climate risk from a dangerous climate pollutant. The EPA comment period for the proposed methane regulations lasts until Jan. 31, 2022, and is the perfect venue for investors to voice their support.

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Also posted in Methane regulatons / Language: / Comments are closed

Canada’s path to reducing methane must be built on all available data

Last week, at the United Nations annual climate conference, Canada joined over 100 other countries pledging to reduce 30% of global methane emissions by the year 2030. Methane is a fast-acting greenhouse gas responsible for over a quarter of human-caused global warming. Reducing methane emissions, along with carbon dioxide, is absolutely critical to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Canada is among the world’s largest methane emitters, and oil and gas is a significant contributor. So consequently, living up to this global commitment of 30% reduction by 2030 will have to include meaningful cuts to oil and gas sector methane emissions.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Canada, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas / Language: / Comments are closed

Methane Momentum at COP26: What you missed and what’s ahead

Methane had a major moment on the world’s stage last week at the annual United Nations climate conference when more than 100 countries pledged to reduce global methane emissions by 30% this decade. Not only that, we also saw the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency propose enhanced protections to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas infrastructure nationwide. Both actions are critically important to help rapidly cut emissions of a potent climate pollutant that’s driving at least a quarter of current global warming.

The acute focus on the world’s methane problem — and consequently what to do about it — was elevated in the most recent assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But it’s also been the result of tireless decades of work and effort led by scientists, policy experts and environmental advocates who have been actively studying the major sources of methane emissions in search of potential solutions. Many stopped by the Methane Moment pavilion at COP 26 to share insights about what led to this moment, and where we go from here.

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Also posted in Methane regulatons / Language: / Comments are closed

Here’s what you need to know about EPA’s landmark methane proposal

By Edwin LaMair and Grace Smith

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency proposed methane standards that will, for the first time, apply to the nation’s nearly one million existing oil and gas wells and other facilities. A critical step that charts a path to major emission cuts.

As methane takes the spotlight on the world stage and countries raise their ambition for cutting this potent greenhouse gas, EPA’s final rules will play a central role in U.S. commitments to reducing methane and achieving climate goals.

The proposals to reduce oil and gas methane emissions, the largest industrial source of methane in the U.S., were met with widespread public support, not only from environmental groups, but also health and child advocates, tribal officials and investors concerned about climate risk.

To comprehensively protect our communities and climate, EPA must further strengthen its proposal — as it has stated it plans to do in a supplemental proposal issued next spring — by requiring monitoring across smaller, leak-prone wells and eliminating the wasteful and polluting practice of routine flaring.

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Also posted in Methane regulatons, Natural Gas / Language: / Comments are closed

New research shows Boston methane emissions continue, despite pipe replacement efforts

New peer-reviewed research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that methane emissions from natural gas infrastructure and buildings in the Boston area have remained consistently high over the last eight years, despite multiple programs aimed at reducing methane pipeline leakage.

This study indicates that more action is needed in Massachusetts and around the country to tackle the urban methane problem.

A potent greenhouse gas and the primary component of natural gas, methane has at least 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide during the first 10-20 years after release. Emissions from oil and gas operations, livestock and other industries are responsible for at least 24% of current global warming.

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Also posted in Natural Gas / Language: / Comments are closed

Not-so-marginal wells and the need for strong EPA regulations

There’s a common misconception that “marginal” or low-producing wells are nothing more than a marginal problem when it comes to the oil and gas industry’s methane emissions.

The reality is that these wells make up about 80% of all active wells in the U.S, over 560,000 in total. These are not the mom-and-pop operations some portray — rather, the vast majority of marginal wells are owned by large, well-capitalized companies with significant resources to curb wasteful emissions.

As the Environmental Protection Agency readies landmark rules to limit methane pollution from the nation’s existing oil and gas wells, ensuring those standards apply to marginal sites is critical for protecting our climate and the local communities breathing harmful pollution from these wells.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Methane regulatons, New Mexico / Language: / Comments are closed