Energy Exchange

The Inflation Reduction Act is a game-changer on methane. Here’s why.

By Edwin LaMair and Grace Smith

The US Congress recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which takes bold action to address the climate crisis. Multiple independent analyses show the bill could reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, providing important support for President Biden’s goal of halving emissions by 2030.

Last week, the EPA requested public input on a key provision of the IRA — the Methane Emissions Reduction Program, MERP, — which works hand-in-hand with forthcoming EPA rules to cut methane from oil and gas operations through a fee on wasteful emissions.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Methane / Language: / Comments are closed

S&P Global Analysis Says Industry’s Wasted Gas Could Bring Quick Relief to Energy Market

Russia’s war on Ukraine has sent painful shockwaves through global gas markets — not only in Europe but across Asia and in developing economies that can least afford it. The crisis is accelerating efforts to transition to cleaner, safer, more reliable energy, while setting off a scramble for new gas supplies to backfill what once came from Russia. How to meet that near-term need without a massive new infrastructure buildout that would undermine climate goals and risk stranding billions in capital? One key solution – identified by EDF, the International Energy Agency and others — lies in the vast amounts of gas currently wasted by the oil and gas industry through flaring, leaks and other emissions.

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

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 »

Also posted in Flaring, General, Methane, PermianMAP, Texas / Tagged | 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 Air Quality, Methane / Tagged | Language: / Comments are closed

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 Air Quality, BLM Methane, General, Methane, 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 Air Quality, BLM Methane, Climate, General, Methane / Language: / Comments are closed