Selected tag(s): regulations

New Technologies Deliver Data That Can Make Gas Pipelines Safer

By Virginia Palacios and Holly Pearen

Plastic pipeline being placed in a trench

Plastic pipeline being placed in a trench.

The tragic 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion served as proof of how a small pipeline leak combined with human error can cause a devastating disaster.  This has led the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to propose new regulations for gas pipelines across the country in order to prevent another major pipeline catastrophe.

At the same time, utilities are beginning to adopt advanced technologies and methods that provide better data to experts —  helping to prevent accidents that threaten public health and safety.  If PHMSA requires operators to use these emerging leak detection technologies and quantification and analytical methods, we could see improved utility safety programs and a decline in incidents related to human error. Read More »

Posted in Data Access, Natural Gas| Also tagged , | Comments are closed

Want to know the leading cause of oil & gas spills? So do we.

A crude oil spill on a wetland in Mountrail County, North Dakota. Photo source: US Fish and Wildlife Service

A crude oil spill on a wetland in Mountrail County, North Dakota.
Photo source: US Fish and Wildlife Service

When the oil and gas industry spills or leaks harmful fluids – whether toxic oil or chemical-laden wastewater – the damage to local ecosystems can last for decades.

Understanding the most common causes of accidental releases could help stakeholders take corrective measures to avoid them. Unfortunately, many regulators don’t collect and make transparent critical information about how many accidents are happening, and what causes them. Read More »

Posted in Natural Gas| Also tagged , , | Comments are closed

You Can’t Argue With Math: BLM’s Methane Rules Enjoy Strong and Diverse Support

BLMsupportThese numbers don’t lie. They represent the strong support new methane waste and pollution reduction rules from the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management enjoy across the west. Methane is a potent climate pollutant and the main constituent of natural gas, so when oil and gas companies on public land allow  methane to be leaked, burned or vented to the atmosphere, it not only impacts air quality and our climate, it also represents an economic loss to taxpayers.

Here’s how this math adds up to a win for taxpayers, public health and the climate. Read More »

Posted in BLM Methane, Climate, Colorado, Methane, Natural Gas, Wyoming| Also tagged | Read 3 Responses

BLM Tackles Waste, Methane Pollution on Federal and Tribal Lands

FrackingWyo_92689731_RFIn an important step forward in curbing methane emissions from the nation’s oil and gas sector, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced a regulatory proposal aimed at wasteful practices that shortchange taxpayers, squander energy resources and threaten the Earth’s climate.  The proposal, which will apply to both new and existing oil and gas facilities, begins to fill an important gap left by the EPA in August when that agency proposed to reduce emissions only from future facilities, ignoring the millions of oil and gas emissions sources already in operation.

Oil and gas companies that operate on our nation’s federal and tribal lands are exploiting a resource that belongs to the public and the Native American tribes.  These operators should be held to the highest standards when it comes to avoiding the waste of the resource and minimizing the pollution from their activities.

Read More »

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

Wyoming Proposal to Curb Venting and Flaring Needs Work

flaringWhen operators pull oil out of the ground, it often comes up with copious amounts of natural gas.  This “associated gas” can be captured and brought to market, creating an additional revenue source for operators.  But if no gathering infrastructure or other methods of capture are deployed, operators either vent the gas to the atmosphere or burn it off with controlled flares. Venting results in the release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Flaring results in troublesome emissions as well, including CO2 and hazardous air pollutants.

According to the Wyoming Oil and gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC), Wyoming’s oil and gas operators vented and flared more than five billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2014.  Five billion cubic feet of gas that could be sold to generate taxes and royalties, heat homes and power machinery across the country, instead was wasted. Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Natural Gas, Wyoming| Also tagged | Comments are closed

Game Time for Fixing The Gas Industry’s Achilles Heel

By  Ben Ratner and Sean Wright

GametimeAs the dog days of summer expire and football season approaches, many sports fans will anxiously scan their favorite team’s rosters for training camp injuries–finding everything from the innocuous, to the dreaded torn Achilles that already sidelined several pro players for the season’s start.

When it comes to the energy industry, methane emissions loom as the Achilles heel of natural gas. On the surface, natural gas appears to many as a star American player – abundant and cleaner burning than coal.

But unchecked methane emissions, which are 84 times more potent than CO2, undercut natural gas’ climate change performance. Read More »

Posted in Climate, Methane| Also tagged | Comments are closed
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