Last week we discussed why the EPA’s plan to limit methane emissions from existing oil and gas facilities is good. Now we will consider reasons why the plan is not prudent.
Will the rules be good or bad for America?
The President says good. Will it be as “good” as the ACA? While you decide for yourself, consider these facts:
Methane is down
From 2005 to 2014 natural gas production increased by 33 percent and methane emissions from natural gas systems decreased 11 percent. The EPA places the natural gas industry in third place on the list of methane emitters behind landfills and “enteric fermentation” (It’s Blazing Saddles, but with cows).
What’s wrong with the free market?
EPA’s last greenhouse gas inventory in April 2015 specifically credited a 38 percent drop in methane emissions since 2005 to voluntary efforts by producers. Where is Friedrich Hayek when we need him?
Is it worth the cost?
Methane emissions from natural gas systems represent 3.4 percent of all the greenhouse gases emitted in the United States. EID has done the math: Assume methane emissions every year from 2025 to 2100 are kept at the target of 45 percent reduction from 2013; that would impact global temperature by .004 degrees Celsius. Some would call that benefit de minimis compared to the cost.
Close enough for government work
In justifying new methane rules the EPA assumed substantially higher natural gas prices than did the EIA. Result: Faulty cost-benefit analysis. How has the agency has fared in other regulations? It estimated its new CAFE standards would save consumers a few thousand dollars on gas and add $948 to the cost of a new car. Three different groups have gauged the additional cost to be more like $3,800 even after fuel savings.
EID reports on the debunking of Bill McKibben’s fracking “facts” Highlights (details in the links):
- Several of his claims have even been rebuked by the IPCC, the international global-warming alarmist enterprise.
- The IPCC considers the rapid deployment of hydraulic fracturing as an important reason for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
- The Harvard study allegedly showing the nation is leaking methane in “massive quantities” doesn’t point to shale gas production as its source.
- The greatest methane increases have been in areas where there is no shale development.
- Even the EDF agrees: Study after study shows that emissions are far lower than Ingraffea claims.
- Gasland has proven to be a fraud.
A contrary look at the EDF study
Several observations about last week’s EDF’s study:
- Alex Trembath of the Breakthrough Institute explains that methane leakage is a minor factor in determining the benefit of coal-to-gas transition; such levels are within acceptable ranges.
- Even after targeting the “super emitters”, the EDF study shows an overall very low methane leakage rate.
Mother’s Day is coming up. How about a musical interlude for Mom!