Energy Exchange

What a catastrophic gas leak in Pennsylvania means for our climate and health

Image credit: Methane plume from the leak captured by the Sentinel-2 satellite on 9 November (data processed by UNEP/IMEO)

Update: According to the operator, this leak has been plugged.

By Adam Peltz and Jon Goldstein

A natural gas storage site in Western Pennsylvania has sprung a massive gas leak that’s impacting both the climate and the communities who live in Cambria County. 

The leak began Thursday, Nov. 6 at a facility operated by Equitrans Midstream Corporation.  Despite efforts from the company and state officials, it has continued for weeks – causing over 1 billion cubic feet of methane and other pollutants to fill the air.  Its impact is massive – large enough to be seen and quantified from space from the growing network of methane satellites. The near-term warming generated from this single site over the course of a few weeks is roughly equivalent to emissions from 360,000 cars over a year.  

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Key things we learned from studying methane in the nation’s largest oilfield 

By Ben Hmiel and Jon Goldstein

After three years of actively collecting methane emissions data in the Permian Basin, researchers have gained new insights that will make it easier to reduce emissions of the incredibly potent greenhouse gas methane. These insights are helping inform state and federal regulatory approaches at a critical time. 

Download the final report.  Read More »

Posted in Flaring, General, Methane, Methane regulatons, New Mexico, PermianMAP, Texas / Language: / Comments are closed

Green shipping corridors: criteria for success

By Marie Hubatova

After decades of sailing under the radar, international shipping and its climate impact is gradually getting more attention from other actors than just environmental non-governmental organizations. The shift has also been obvious at the most recent UN Climate Change Conferences.

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U.S. signs global commitment to 100% zero-emission trucks, buses at COP27

By: Jason Mathers and Peter Zalzal

The U.S. made an important commitment at COP27 yesterday that will help reduce climate and air pollution from the dirtiest vehicles on our roads and create a foundation for more ambitious action, which is urgently needed to reduce pollution from trucks and buses.

Joining sixteen nations — as well as several states and cities around the world — Secretary Granholm added the U.S. as a signatory to the Global Memorandum of Understanding on Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. This commits the U.S. to a goal of 100% zero-emission truck and bus sales by 2040, with an interim goal of 30% new sales by 2030. The global MOU was initiated by CALSTART at COP26 in 2021.

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Unreported pollution: What new research reveals about Canada’s methane problem

By Scott Seymour and Ari Pottens

Canada has set arguably some of the most ambitious goals of any country when it comes to reducing emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane. In addition to joining a global coalition of countries pledging to reduce 30% of their methane emissions, Canada has also vowed to reduce oil and gas sector emissions even further, by 75%.

But how close is Canada to reaching that goal? New research published this week in the journal Elementa reveals it is almost impossible to accurately answer that question with our current policies.

Here’s why.

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Posted in Air Quality, Canada, Methane, Methane regulatons / Language: / Comments are closed

How to stop worrying about gas prices for good: Act quickly to fully decarbonize the economy

By: Katelyn Roedner Sutter and Michael Colvin

This past summer, Californians have been hit hard by inflation: rising food costs, utility bills and nowhere more obviously than at the gas pump. The cost to fill up a tank has many potential causes and lots of experts are weighing in — see here, here and here. Regardless of the cause, those with the tightest budgets are being hit hardest.

Last week, Gov. Newsom called a special session of the legislature to address high gas prices, and the state began sending direct rebates to Californians to help provide some immediate relief. In the longer term, we need to remember that while sending checks is helpful, the lasting solution to ending this gas price madness is a swift transition to a 100% clean economy.

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Posted in California, Climate, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed