At Energy Dialogues’ North American Gas Forum last month, I had the opportunity to participate on a panel moderated by Gregory Kallenberg of the Rational Middle. While the panel pre-dated the presidential election, the topic of constructive engagement through rational discourse is now more important than ever.
We explored how environmental groups, industry, and other stakeholders need to come together to rationally discuss and collaboratively act on the challenges of meeting rising energy demand while addressing real and growing environmental risks.
The still principally fossil-based energy system, which includes natural gas, is not the only cause of climate change, but it is the largest. And so a range of stakeholders, from protesters holding signs, to investors with a long term interest in the future of natural gas, to industry consumers, are looking with increasing criticism at fossil fuels. That was true before the election, and it’s true today. They’re asking: How can we reconcile the environment we want to protect for the future with the traditional energy and feedstock resources we are using now? Read More
Also posted in General, Methane
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and EDF Chief Scientist Steve Hamburg check out the methane-sniffing Google Street View car
*UPDATE: Days after this data was released, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued draft permits that will help reduce methane emissions from select oil and gas facilities across the state – making Pennsylvania the latest state to take commonsense action on methane .*
EDF and Google have released new interactive maps that show Pittsburgh residents just how much methane may be escaping from city pipelines.
Methane is the main component of natural gas. Millions of families across Pennsylvania and the country depend on it to heat homes and prepare their dinners. But when leaked into the atmosphere, it can wreak havoc on our climate, represent millions of dollars’ worth of wasted American energy, and pose serious risks to public health and safety.
That’s why we spent the past year working with Peoples Gas in Pittsburgh to use Google Street View mapping cars specially equipped with state-of-the-art methane sensors to determine how many pipeline leaks there are, how much methane is leaking, and where these leaks are located. Read More
Today the Bureau of Land Management finalized new rules that limit the amount of methane oil and gas companies can leak, vent, or flare on the 245 million acres of taxpayer-owned and tribal lands. This is a huge, $330 million dollar problem according to a recent study from ICF international. While an analysis from the Western Values Project estimates taxpayers could lose out on almost $800 million over the next decade – unless the BLM acts to reduce wasteful venting and flaring practices.
Reeling in waste of resources that belong to the nation’s tribes and taxpayers is an effort that folks from across the political spectrum can get behind. Read More
With 2016 on pace to be the hottest year ever recorded, it’s never been more urgent for countries to work together to protect our climate. Europe, with its long history of climate leadership, has a pivotal role to play in driving the next wave of efforts.
European leadership was central to achieving the historic Paris Climate Agreement, as well as recent breakthrough agreements on carbon dioxide emissions from aviation and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in refrigerators and air conditioners.
But there is one critical climate opportunity still to be taken on in Europe, and that’s methane – one of the biggest levers we have today to slow the rate of warming. Read More
The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a group of 10 oil and gas CEOs representing 25 percent of the industry’s global production, came together in London today to sign an agreement committing to invest $1 billion over the next ten years to accelerate commercial deployment of low carbon energy technologies. Their primary focus will be carbon capture and storage and reducing oil and gas methane emissions.
Not coincidentally, this accord comes the same day that the Paris Climate Agreement enters into force.
Is $1 billion enough? Of course not. The emission reduction goals the world has set in Paris require nothing less than a fundamental transformation of our global energy system. We must dramatically reduce the total amount of fossil fuels we use – coal, oil, and natural gas – and dramatically ramp up deployment of renewable resources – solar, wind – and aggressively pursue energy efficiency and vehicle electrification.
Jeremy Legget, chairman of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, points out that “the world has to mobilize trillions of dollars a year for clean energy” within a 10 year time frame if the Paris goals are to be realized. Collectively, the ten OGCI CEOs signing today’s accord already plan to spend more than $90 Billion in capital this year alone just doing business as usual, so even by the standards of their own capital budgets, a $1 billion commitment over a decade is a drop in the bucket. Read More
Also posted in Methane Tagged global methane
Vocal opposition from parts of the oil and gas business against policies to limit the industry’s heat-trapping methane emissions can sometimes obscure emerging efforts by some companies to tackle one of the sector’s biggest environmental and reputation challenges – and one that’s becoming ever more prominent by the day.
But not everybody in oil and gas is digging in their heels. In fact, there’s a growing list of companies working in various ways to start solving the problem. None of these initiatives alone is likely to get us where we need to be. But together they’re helping pave the way toward a more comprehensive answer that levels the playing field by creating sensible performance standards for everyone in the industry.
One of these emerging efforts is the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, a voluntary effort to improve emissions reporting and accelerate best practices to reduce methane. Launched at the 2014 United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Summit, OGMP includes BP, Eni, Pemex, PTT, Repsol, Southwestern Energy, Statoil, and Total. The companies agreed to seek out ways to survey, assess and disclose their methane emissions, and find new opportunities to reduce them. Read More
Also posted in Methane Tagged global methane