Energy Exchange

Turning COP26 methane promises into action

One of the biggest accomplishments from COP26 is the global consensus around the urgent need to reduce methane emissions. More than 100 countries representing more than two-thirds of the global economy promised to collectively reduce 30% of man-made methane emissions by 2030.

The agreement follows recent analysis from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warns there is no plausible pathway to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C without dramatic reductions in both methane emissions and carbon dioxide. We can’t get there through either pathway alone. We have to do both.

Read More »

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

Methane Momentum at COP26: What you missed and what’s ahead

Methane had a major moment on the world’s stage last week at the annual United Nations climate conference when more than 100 countries pledged to reduce global methane emissions by 30% this decade. Not only that, we also saw the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency propose enhanced protections to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas infrastructure nationwide. Both actions are critically important to help rapidly cut emissions of a potent climate pollutant that’s driving at least a quarter of current global warming.

The acute focus on the world’s methane problem — and consequently what to do about it — was elevated in the most recent assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But it’s also been the result of tireless decades of work and effort led by scientists, policy experts and environmental advocates who have been actively studying the major sources of methane emissions in search of potential solutions. Many stopped by the Methane Moment pavilion at COP 26 to share insights about what led to this moment, and where we go from here.

Read More »

Also posted in Methane / Language: / Comments are closed

Here’s what you need to know about EPA’s landmark methane proposal

By Edwin LaMair and Grace Smith

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency proposed methane standards that will, for the first time, apply to the nation’s nearly one million existing oil and gas wells and other facilities. A critical step that charts a path to major emission cuts.

As methane takes the spotlight on the world stage and countries raise their ambition for cutting this potent greenhouse gas, EPA’s final rules will play a central role in U.S. commitments to reducing methane and achieving climate goals.

The proposals to reduce oil and gas methane emissions, the largest industrial source of methane in the U.S., were met with widespread public support, not only from environmental groups, but also health and child advocates, tribal officials and investors concerned about climate risk.

To comprehensively protect our communities and climate, EPA must further strengthen its proposal — as it has stated it plans to do in a supplemental proposal issued next spring — by requiring monitoring across smaller, leak-prone wells and eliminating the wasteful and polluting practice of routine flaring.

Read More »

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

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.

Read More »

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

Overwhelming public support paves way for stronger oil and gas pollution rules in New Mexico

Over the past two weeks the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board heard from a variety of New Mexicans as they considered newly proposed rules to limit oil and gas air pollution in New Mexico. What was striking over the 10 long days of testimony is just how broad and deep the support for a suite of improved rules is across the state.

While the board must still deliberate and finalize the rules (expected to happen early this coming spring) it is evident after the hearing that there is a clear, well-supported path to finalizing rules that protect the air and health of New Mexicans and that meet Gov. Lujan Grisham’s goal of setting nationally leading requirements to reduce harmful pollution from the oil and gas industry.

Read More »

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

3 things to watch as New Mexico begins hearing on new oil and gas air pollution rules

Under Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico has made oil and gas air pollution and methane reductions a focus of regulatory improvements, restoring enforcement teeth to the governor’s Oil Conservation Division and finalizing a strong methane waste rule that bans routine venting and flaring earlier this year.

These critical policy efforts will reach a climax starting Monday, Sept. 20, as the state’s Environmental Improvement Board considers landmark new rules proposed by the New Mexico Environment Department that have the potential to dramatically cut pollution from the oil and gas industry, clean up the air and protect the health of local communities.

Here are three things to watch as the EIB hearings unfold.

Read More »

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