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Flare, Bayport Industrial District, Harris County, Texas Photo: Jim Evans, Wikimedia CC
In 2020, oil and gas use is down but methane leaks are up dramatically during the same time period according to a study by the energy data firm Kayrros, Reuters and The Washington Post reported. Oil and gas companies had pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, but they appear not to have not done it during the oil price slump because they cannot afford the cost to retrofit and conduct maintenance of infrastructure to prevent leaks, venting, and flaring. Kayrros determined by examining satellite imagery that methane leaks globally increased by nearly a third over the same period in 2019, to over 5000 major leaks. The biggest methane hotspots were found in Algeria, Russia and Turkmenistan rose by more than 40%, above the overall global increase of 32%.
According to scientists, the importance of reining in methane has become far greater as we learn of the sheer amount of methane leaking — it is much more than previously thought. The European Union, which is the world’s biggest gas importer, announced last week that it is considering putting in place a binding methane emissions standards for the natural gas it buys. So why are the leaks increasing? It’s a pure consequence of cost-cutting,” Kayrros President Antoine Rostand told Reuters. “Such increases in methane emissions are concerning and in stark contradiction to the direction set in the Paris Agreement of 2015 (to keep global warming below 1.5 degree Celsius),” he said. There are millions of abandoned wells in the U.S., and capping them and their methane leaks has broad bipartisan support, in addition to the backing of Vice President Biden.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Air pollution from animal farms leads to nearly 13,000 deaths annually, according to a new study that links food protection and air quality harms. The manure and animal feed from farms produce fine-particle pollution that leads to breathing issues as well as long-term health issues like heart disease and […]
The European Union is angling for climate neutrality by 2050, and in order to hit that target needs to ramp down its transportation emissions by about 90 percent. Trams — or what is known as light rail here in the U.S. — are having a moment as part of that planning.
Why This Matters: Lowering emissions doesn’t have to mean reinventing the wheel.
On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the first rule of the Biden administration to combat climate change. EPA Administrator Michael Regan has announced that the rule implementing the 15-year phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) passed by Congress last year.
Why This Matters: Although HFCs have an atmospheric lifetime of about 15 years, which is less than any other GHG, and the most common type is 3,790 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.
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