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Industry analysts and experts are uncertain of what to expect from the oil market crash when it comes to the flaring problem. Lower prices and excessive supply will definitely lead to lower production of gas and that could lead to less flaring because there is less gas to get backed up in the pipes leading to terminals on the coast where it is exported. But flaring could also get worse because the crash will lead to more companies going out of business or cutting costs so drastically that they won’t have funds to monitor flares and control intentional flares, much less to fix faulty equipment that may be accidentally leaking natural gas into the atmosphere.
The Industry In Texas Is Working Together To Cut Back on Methane
It must be a real problem because now the industry has vowed to try to fix it. In Texas, several oil and gas companies and trade associations in Texas this week announced the formation of the Texas Methane and Flaring Coalition to “strive to find innovative ways to minimize flaring and methane emissions.” Sure.
NASA Now Has An Eye On Methane
NASA announced last week that it has a “new 3-dimensional portrait of methane concentrations shows the world’s second-largest contributor to greenhouse warming, the diversity of sources on the ground, and the behavior of the gas as it moves through the atmosphere. Combining multiple data sets from emissions inventories, including fossil fuel, agricultural, biomass burning and biofuels, and simulations of wetland sources into a high-resolution computer model, researchers now have an additional tool for understanding this complex gas and its role in Earth’s carbon cycle, atmospheric composition, and climate system.”
Why This Matters: As Vickie Patton, general counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund, told the NYT, “this is really serious…It’s rare for E.P.A.’s inspector general to conduct an investigation of the agency’s rule-making.”
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a challenge brought by the Trump administration against a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program that creates a market for emissions credits between the state of California and the Canadian province of Quebec.
Why This Matters: The Trump administration challenged the program because it argued California had no authority to deal directly with the government of another nation — that its program usurps the federal government’s primacy in foreign affairs.
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