San Jose To Become Largest City to Ban Natural Gas for New Construction

San Jose To Become Largest City to Ban Natural Gas for New Construction

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer The city of San Jose, CA will become the largest city in the United States to ban natural gas from all new construction. The San Jose City Council is expected to approve a proposal that forbids natural gas use in new commercial and high-rise residential buildings, expanding an earlier […]

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The Seaweed Solution to Methane Emissions from Cows

The Seaweed Solution to Methane Emissions from Cows

Tatiana Schlossberg reports for The Washington Post about the potential of seaweed to dramatically reduce methane emissions from cows.  It turns out that Asparagopsis taxiformis and Asparagopsis armata — two species of crimson submarine grass — can reduce those emissions by 98% when just a small amount is added to their food.  Now several companies are working […]

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62 Oil and Gas Companies Pledge to Reduce Methane, U.S. Companies Turn the Other Way

62 Oil and Gas Companies Pledge to Reduce Methane, U.S. Companies Turn the Other Way

This week, following a U.N. report showing that methane levels in the atmosphere are at an all-time high, more than 60 oil and gas companies joined a new voluntary agreement to report and reduce their emissions. The companies making the pledge represent 30% of global oil and gas operations, but none of them were American.

Why This Matters: According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global oil and gas industry produced 82 gigatons of methane in 2019 alone.

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Methane Leaks Globally Rise Dramatically Despite COVID-Related Slowdowns

Methane Leaks Globally Rise Dramatically Despite COVID-Related Slowdowns

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.

Why This Matters: Methane is a highly damaging greenhouse gas in its first 20 years after being emitted — it’s 80 to 90 times more potent than carbon dioxide during that time period.

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Carbon Dioxide Not Expected to Exceed 2019 Levels Again Until 2027 click button

Carbon Dioxide Not Expected to Exceed 2019 Levels Again Until 2027

The International Energy Agency (IEA) Annual Report projects that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a 7 percent drop in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 due to associated reductions in fossil fuel use, and that emissions of CO2 pollution will remain below 2019 levels until 2027. 

Why This Matters:  This is good news for air pollution in general as well as for climate change.  We needed to put the breaks on continual increases in CO2 emissions — and this was a hard way to do it.

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A Methane Pandemic: Millions of Abandoned Wells Are Leaking into the Atmosphere

A Methane Pandemic: Millions of Abandoned Wells Are Leaking into the Atmosphere

As the candidates debate fracking, millions of abandoned natural gas wells are leaking literally tons of methane into the atmosphere, and there’s no fix in sight. There are an estimated 3.2 million abandoned oil and gas wells in the United States, and an estimated 29 million worldwide.

Why This Matters:  Methane leaks are dangerous — they have led to reports of tap water catching fire, toxic groundwater, and fatal explosions, all of which have been motivators for the federal government to track and seal these wells.

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