Energy Exchange

Differentiated gas: Nothing but hot air without these five criteria

By Dan Grossman and Maureen Lackner

Getting a comprehensive and accurate picture of the extent of methane emissions from the oil and gas industry is hard.

Our scientists have spent much of the last decade detailing deficiencies and inaccuracies in the way companies — and even regulators — estimate emissions, which result in dangerous understatements of the methane problem.

And that is precisely why efforts by oil and gas companies and their consultants to differentiate some natural gas as “responsibly sourced” or “low emission” is problematic.

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

Lessons from New Mexico and Colorado’s leading methane rules

Methane leaks from oil and gas sites represents a problem on many fronts. They create harmful air pollution, contribute to global warming and can even cause explosions. They also result in a lot of wasted gas.

Colorado and New Mexico — two of the nation’s leading energy producers — recently ramped up their methane pollution standards for the oil and gas industry.

Ensure standards apply to smaller, low-producing wells

The vast majority of the nation’s wells produce less than 15 barrels of oil a day and there are often calls for these sites to be exempted from environmental standards. This is a major problem because their footprint is huge and their climate impact adds up.

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Also posted in BLM Methane, Colorado, New Mexico / Language: / Comments are closed

The twin crises of energy supply and climate have the same solution

Today’s energy system has become a liability we can no longer afford. As dependence on oil and gas restrains the response to Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week issued yet another urgent warning that society is running out of time to avoid dangerous climate change caused by fossil fuel emissions.

Politicians and pundits say we must choose which problem to solve — protect the economy or protect the planet. But the twin crises of energy and climate have the same solution: the fastest possible transformation of our global energy system.

To those who want to prioritize the energy crisis, they must contend with the reality that there are no big spigots likely to be opened. Pre-Covid, oil and gas production were near record highs. Recent company announcements offer only marginal bumps in production, not enough to replace Russian oil or change prices at the pump.

And despite their rhetoric, neither producers nor their financiers show any interest in making the massive investments necessary to change these fundamentals.

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Also posted in Renewable Energy / Language: / Comments are closed

Climate scientists agree: methane cuts are essential to limit global warming

By Ilissa Ocko and Tianyi Sun

A new report out this week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is once again shedding more light on the climate crisis. According to the latest research, we’re on a dangerous trajectory that will result in significantly more warming than what policymakers aimed for.

As part of the Paris Climate Agreement — countries across the globe committed to try and limit future temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. This new report not only predicts that we are not on track to meet that goal, it also suggests that even limiting warming to 2 degrees C is highly unlikely based on our current emissions and policies.

A previous IPCC assessment released earlier this year brought into focus the unfortunate reality that we are already experiencing increasingly destructive extreme weather events, rising seas, melting sea ice, habitat loss and other severe impacts of a changing climate at a much faster rate than communities can adapt. The fact that we are not acting fast enough to avert much worse impacts is disappointing news.

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Posted in Methane / Language: / Comments are closed

Quickly reducing methane along with CO2 could help save Earth’s sea ice

Check out EDF’s newest study: “The value of early methane mitigation in preserving Arctic summer sea ice.” Available now in Environmental Research Letters.

Posted in Methane / Language: / Comments are closed

New Rystad cost analysis makes case for EPA to end routine flaring in final methane rule

By Jon Goldstein and Grace Weatherall

Reducing the amount of methane emitted from oil and gas infrastructure is among the cheapest and simplest solutions we have to reduce global warming quickly while protecting public health. The Environmental Protection Agency is in the midst of developing rules to curb these emissions from oil and gas producers across the country.

A new analysis commissioned by EDF and conducted by Rystad Energy makes it clear that eliminating routine flaring — a major source of rogue emissions — should be part of EPA’s methane rulemaking.

Though there are valid safety reasons for some minimal flaring, most of it occurs via routine flaring — when oil producers simply don’t have a place to put the natural gas that emerges from the ground during oil production and simply burn it off. More than $1 billion of natural gas is wasted at flares every year, driving unnecessary and harmful climate and local air pollution — including methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas — when natural gas is not fully burned.

Rystad’s report includes two key findings that should inform EPA’s rulemaking.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Colorado, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, New Mexico, Texas / Language: / Comments are closed