New Source Of Methane Leaks Identified—Eastern Cities

Photo: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flew reconnaissance flights over major metropolitan areas on the East Coast – Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and found that those cities were emitting nearly 950,000 metric tons of methane gas into the atmosphere, which was more than twice what EPA had estimated.   The Associated Press reported on the study’s surprising results have yet to be fully explained – scientists believe it is natural gas coming from leaky homes and pipes as opposed to methane gas from landfills.

Why This Matters: It is not surprising but very disappointing that we did not have this data sooner – think how much we might have kept out of the atmosphere if we had. This is why environmental monitoring and data collection is such an important government function and there ought to be more funding for it. With information, we can make adjustments and fixes – ignorance is hardly bliss when it comes to greenhouse gas pollution. The natural gas escaping is almost 10 times more than what EPA previously believed. In this day and age, with the technology we have available, that is simply unacceptable.

It’s Not a Safety Issue But It Is a Climate Problem

The upside is that now that we know, the scientists believe this represents low hanging fruit in the battle against climate change – these leaks are by and large preventable.

Up Next

One Cool Thing: GM Makes an EV Splash at Consumer Electronics Show

One Cool Thing: GM Makes an EV Splash at Consumer Electronics Show

GM unveiled big plans at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show for electric vehicles — driverless “shuttle” vans and even – imagine this – flying cars.  CEO Mary Barra, the keynote speaker, unveiled a new company logo and highlighted innovative new vehicles.  The company has created a new unit called BrightDrop that will sell its EV600 […]

Continue Reading 98 words
Top Ten Stories of 2020: EVs Charge Ahead

Top Ten Stories of 2020: EVs Charge Ahead

This year two “EVs” repeatedly made headlines — environmental voters and electric vehicles.  When we look back in 2035, by which time we should have converted completely to renewable energy, 2020 could be seen as the year when the auto industry fully committed to the transition to electric vehicles and trucks.

Continue Reading 463 words
As COVID Spikes Again in Alabama, Environmental Injustice Prompts a “Moral Moment”

As COVID Spikes Again in Alabama, Environmental Injustice Prompts a “Moral Moment”

E&E reports in an in-depth piece on Tuscaloosa, chronic illness and exposure to air pollution are exacerbating the spiking COVID rates and increasing the risks for people living in neighborhoods just outside the boundaries of industrial plants and refineries across the country. 

Why this Matters: Clean air should be a right, not a privilege. Across the country, communities of color face disproportionate local air pollution and higher COVID rates.

Continue Reading 500 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.