Energy Exchange

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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Posted in Air Quality, Methane, Methane regulatons, New Mexico / Comments are closed

What to look for as EPA readies landmark methane rules

EPA is preparing to release proposed rules to cut oil and gas methane pollution from both new and existing facilities — one of the most critical and cost-effective actions we can take to immediately slow the rate of global warming and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Recognizing the importance of this opportunity, yesterday, over 70 community, health, tribal and environmental organizations sent EPA a letter expressing strong support for its efforts to develop methane pollution safeguards and urging the agency to propose protective and comprehensive standards for new and existing sources.

By leveraging advanced technologies and ensuring meaningful coverage, the rules can secure the substantial, science-based pollution reductions needed to help address the climate crisis and to ensure healthy communities.

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Posted in Air Quality, Climate, Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

With oil and gas pollution rules restored, what’s next for EPA on methane?

Last month, President Biden signed into law S.J. Res. 14, a Congressional Review Act resolution restoring methane pollution standards for the oil and gas sector by repealing Trump-era rollbacks. With bipartisan backing, Congress passed the measure and rejected the Trump administration’s dangerous weakening of methane protections and its unlawful attempt to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from setting stronger standards in the future.

With these protections restored, this fall EPA will propose additional standards for both new and existing sources of methane emissions.

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Posted in Colorado, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania / Comments are closed

New mapping tool shows who will be impacted by EPA’s dangerous methane rollback

A few months ago, the Environmental Protection Agency released their proposal to eliminate regulation of methane emissions from new and modified sources across the oil and gas sector and attempt to preclude future federal regulation of the vast number of older sources in the industry.

EDF and a coalition of other concerned public health and environmental organizations submitted detailed comments to the EPA during the public comment period that ended last month, underscoring that the Trump EPA proposal is deeply flawed and unlawful. The proposal is essentially an attempt to dodge the agency’s responsibilities under the Clean Air Act and ignores the extensive scientific evidence that pollution from the oil and gas sector is a public health threat.

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Posted in Air Quality, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

Trump’s EPA moves one step closer to dangerous proposal to eliminate methane pollution standards

Over the last several weeks, widespread reporting has documented the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change. Recent reports have shown White House attempts to block a senior state department official’s testimony on climate change, and documents that EDF recently obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests show Trump administration advisor William Happer coordinating closely with the Heartland Institute to discuss work that sought to undermine climate science.

At the same time, the Trump EPA has likely taken another step towards entirely deregulating a powerful climate pollutant. Last week, the Trump EPA sent to the Office of Management and Budget a proposal that is expected to entirely eliminate direct regulation of methane from the oil and gas sector — an action that is starkly at odds with the overwhelming body of scientific evidence on the harmful nature of methane pollution and one that even some of the biggest industry leaders have come out publicly against.

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Posted in Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

API attacks on methane safeguards contradict science and drag the industry backwards

Methane is a powerful pollutant responsible for more than 25 percent of climate change we experience today—and the oil and gas sector is the largest industrial source of methane emissions. Recent scientific evidence only underscores the importance of addressing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Unfortunately, at the request of the American Petroleum Institute (API) and others in industry, the Trump administration has issued a proposal to dramatically weaken common sense standards that address oil and gas emissions, allowing for an increase in pollution. In addition, reports suggest that EPA is moving forward with a second proposal that could entirely remove the direct regulation of methane in the oil and gas sector, which would fly in the face of the well-established scientific record documenting the harms of this powerful pollutant and would disregard the substantial amount of pollution emitted from oil and gas sources.

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Posted in Methane / Tagged | Comments are closed