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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Climate Change and Arctic Drilling Threaten Polar Bears’ Extinction

Climate Change and Arctic Drilling Threaten Polar Bears’ Extinction

The Trump Administration finally released the results of a long-awaited study on the cumulative impacts of oil and gas development in the Arctic on the endangered polar bear population and, not surprisingly, it was bad news for the bears. 

Why This Matters: The head of an agency should review a major work product before it is released to the public.  But delaying the release of a scientific report for months because it does not square with the administration’s policy viewpoint is another matter altogether.

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ExxonMobil Plans to Emit 21 Million Additional Tons of Carbon Per Year

ExxonMobil Plans to Emit 21 Million Additional Tons of Carbon Per Year

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer    Leaked internal documents from Exxon Mobil reveal that the corporation is planning for an increase in its annual carbon emissions by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece. While plummeting oil prices in April drove Exxon to cut a third of its spending budget, […]

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Trump Extends Offshore Drilling Ban to NC and VA AND Offshore Wind

Trump Extends Offshore Drilling Ban to NC and VA AND Offshore Wind

After reading the fine print, it turns out President  Trump’s memo issued over the weekend extending his 10-year offshore oil and gas drilling ban from Florida all the way up the East Coast to Virginia, contains a poison pill — it also bans offshore wind development.

Why This Matters:  It is disappointing from both a climate change perspective, but also because the offshore wind farm leases were selling for hundreds of millions of dollars all of which would be paid to the government.

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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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2019 May Have Been Peak Year For Oil  Demand, BP Trying to Pivot

2019 May Have Been Peak Year For Oil Demand, BP Trying to Pivot

Yesterday, the world’s leading oil producers, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), projected a larger decrease in oil demand than was predicted earlier in the pandemic.  The Hill reported that OPEC predicts oil demand will drop by 9.46 million barrels per day (bpd) rather than 9.06 million bpd. 

Why This Matters:  Big oil and gas companies like BP may be trying to put a good face on the bleak prognosis for oil, while they try to remain sunny about gas.

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