Energy Exchange

Pennsylvania acts to avert a manufactured crisis to protect its economy, environment and $750 million in federal funds

Image courtesy of Earthworks

By John Rutecki and John Walliser

On Nov. 21st, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced his administration would pursue a now-approved emergency rulemaking to finalize long-overdue volatile organic compound and methane rules for the conventional oil and gas industry.

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Also posted in General, Methane, Pennsylvania / Language: / Comments are closed

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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Also posted in Canada, Methane, Methane regulatons / Language: / Comments are closed

First “orphan” well plugged as federal program gains momentum, more to be done

 

In the fall of 2021, after much effort by EDF and other stakeholders, Congress included $4.7 billion in funding as part of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to close as many “orphan” wells as possible, with a focus on leaky wells near communities.

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Research shows gathering pipelines in the Permian Basin leaking 14 times more methane than officials estimate

Methane plume detected on a gathering pipeline during 2021 survey.

Methane plume detected on a gathering pipeline during 2021 survey.

By Erin Murphy and Jevan Yu

Methane emissions from natural gas gathering pipelines in the U.S. Permian Basin are at least 14 times greater than Environmental Protection Agency national inventory estimates, according to new peer-reviewed research from EDF, Stanford University and the University of Arizona. Gathering lines transport unprocessed gas from well sites to processing facilities and vary widely in size and pressure, with diameters ranging from two inches to as large as 30 inches. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with over 84 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere, and this new research indicates the importance of finding and fixing pipeline methane leaks to mitigate the climate crisis.

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Also posted in BLM Methane, General, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, PermianMAP / Language: / Comments are closed

New study finds flaring source of five times more pollution than previously thought

A new study out today in the journal Science finds that climate-warming methane emissions from flaring, the practice of burning off gas rather than capturing it for productive use, are five times higher than government estimates — primarily due to unlit and malfunctioning flares. Researchers conclude that flares are combusting at a 91% efficiency rate, significantly lower than the 98% efficiency rate that is assumed by operators and policymakers.

These findings confirm that our current environmental standards are not adequately controlling this pollution source and underline the need for urgent regulatory action from the Environmental Protection Agency  and Bureau of Land Management to limit pollution and waste from flaring.

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Also posted in BLM Methane, Climate, General, Methane, Methane regulatons / Language: / Comments are closed

EPA must protect California’s life-saving clean truck rules

By Larissa Koehler and Alice Henderson

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency is hearing from scientists, mothers, healthcare professionals, public health and environmental advocates – including EDF – and many others who submitted comments in support of California clean truck standards.

As EPA works toward finalizing federal heavy-duty emission standards proposed earlier this year, the agency has been accepting public comment on its notices considering Clean Air Act preemption waivers for California clean truck standards, including the Advanced Clean Trucks and Heavy-Duty Omnibus NOx (low-NOx) standards. Several other states have already adopted these standards in recent years to reduce health-harming pollution from new freight trucks and buses. The ACT requires an increasing percentage of new trucks and buses to be zero-emission through 2035, while the low-NOx standards aim to reduce nitrogen oxides from new diesel trucks.

Taken together, these protections will prevent almost 5,000 premature deaths, save California billions of dollars in health care costs and create thousands of new jobs by 2035. But the Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association — a trade group of the nation’s largest engine manufacturers, including Volvo and Daimler — has opposed these safeguards at the state and federal level, and is now challenging in court California’s ability to implement the low-NOx emission standards.

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Also posted in California, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed