Selected category: General

El Reciente Éxito de la regulación del Metano en California Ofrece un Modelo para el Auge Energético en México

A raíz de la reforma energética en 2013, la expansión de la industria del gas y del petróleo ha crecido rápidamente. La primera ronda de licitaciones para el arrendamiento de petróleo en aguas profundas mexicanas terminó en diciembre, marcando el inicio para una serie de compañías privadas como:  ExxonMobil y Chevron, por primera vez desde los años treinta. Durante este año se planean arrendamientos adicionales de lugares que se convertirán en nichos para actividades petroleras y de gas, tanto en tierra como mar adentro.

Todo esto sucede mientras México demuestra un notable clima de liderazgo, y mientras los países y las compañías del sector energético alrededor del mundo empiezan a actuar para controlar las emisiones de metano, un contaminante sumamente dañino que en forma rutinaria escapa de la industria mundial del petróleo y el gas. En otras palabras, el auge energético no pudo suceder en un momento más crítico. México está clasificado como el quinto emisor de metano más grande del mundo. Con la ausencia de reglas sólidas para el desarrollo futuro, estas emisiones pueden aumentar a un ritmo constante conforme más producción de petróleo y gas entre en operación como resultado de la reforma energética. Read More »

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Can Technology Save the Climate? These Companies are Betting $1 Billion It Can

Last November, on the same day the Paris climate agreement took effect, 10 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, including BG Group, BP, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total, announced a billion-dollar investment in climate solutions. Together, the member-companies of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) produce 20 percent of the world’s oil and gas and operate in 55 countries.

Their commitment was the beginning sign of a growing and public recognition by the oil and gas industry that tomorrow’s low carbon energy transformation has become today’s new energy imperative.

Right now, the biggest, most pressing climate item for the oil and gas industry is methane. Importantly, OGCI’s announcement included a global focus on reducing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Far more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timespan, methane is responsible for about a quarter of the warming we feel today. Read More »

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New Reports Raise Health Concerns About Emissions From California’s Oil and Gas Industry

For decades communities in California who live close to oil and gas facilities have reported experiencing unbearable odors of gas, headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, and even cardiac complications as a result of the industry’s emissions. The health impacts of oil and gas pollution were made crystal clear last year after a massive gas leak at a Southern California storage facility led to mass hospitalizations and forced hundreds of families to evacuate their homes.

But massive gas leaks like the one at Aliso Canyon aren’t the only cause for alarm. A string of new reports confirm what many concerned communities have known for years: oil and gas emissions from across the entire supply chain can wreak havoc on our health, and are often higher than experts previously thought. Read More »

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States Underscore U.S. Methane Momentum, Latest Reason for Canada to Press Ahead

U.S. states are accelerating steps to reduce oil and gas air pollution. Just last week Ohio – which has a Republican Governor, and Republican-controlled Senate and House – joined the list of states targeting oil and gas emissions with a new methane policy that requires operators to check for leaks at compressor stations four times a year. Showing that it’s not a matter of politics, but smart policy to require oil and gas companies to regularly inspect for and repair leaky equipment.

At the same time, Canada is developing its own requirements to cut oil and gas methane emissions by 45 percent, an effort that some in industry are resisting over concerns of possible U.S. federal policy changes. But Canada needs to keep its eyes on the states where action has taken hold for good reason.

Methane, a powerful pollutant, has emerged as a key energy and environmental challenge.

Natural gas is mostly methane. When it leaks and is vented from thousands of oil and gas facilities, methane loss to the atmosphere is wasted energy that hurts not only businesses but local economies. Read More »

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REPORT: CA Utilities Are Leaking Lots of Gas – but There’s a Way to Stop It

A new report confirms with greater accuracy than ever before that California natural gas utilities are letting huge amounts of their product escape into the atmosphere – about 6.6 billion cubic feet in 2015. That’s more than the amount of gas released during last year’s Aliso Canyon disaster, and over twice the total loss from all of the state’s oil and gas wells.

These huge gas losses are a major environmental problem. Methane – the main ingredient in natural gas – is a potent climate pollutant.  Leaks and other emissions from California utilities in 2015 have the same climate impact as burning more than 1 billion gallons of gasoline.

Where the data comes from and what it means

In 2014 California passed SB 1371, a new law requiring utilities to reduce methane emissions. This new report is based on emissions data collected under that law.  Read More »

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Looking to the States to Improve Natural Gas Storage Policies

Stories about gas storage rarely make headlines, but the fact is there are hundreds of underground natural gas storage facilities peppered across the country, and when something goes wrong, the impacts can be devastating. For example, in 2015 a leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility in Southern California ended up displacing thousands from their homes and was considered one of the biggest environmental disasters in modern U.S. history.

Historically, state agencies have been responsible for regulating these facilities – resulting in a patchwork of protections. But after Aliso Canyon, the federal government stepped in to provide uniform safety standards applicable across the country. Read More »

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