“Remember, I can do anything to anybody”, deranged and murderous Roman emperor Caligula to his grandmother (Julia, widow of Tiberius and herself no stranger to things done to other people as and when they pleased).
In related news, the White House intends to limit methane pollution from thousands of existing oil and gas wells, pipelines and other facilities.
Why should I care?
Because, if you suspect the new rules are .. pick the word … unnecessary, too expensive for the benefit, anti-capitalist, “overbearing leftist bulls&%t” … you should understand the point of view of those who see it differently. That way you can defend the industry to those who don’t know better. This week is a discussion of the rationale for the rules.
The new rules good for America, aren’t they?
No they aren’t, (That’s an opinion; feel free to disagree). Here are reasons why we need the new rules.
The Environmental Defense Fund, through its Energy Exchange blog, asserts that methane emissions are far higher than EPA estimates. According to EDF, the oil and gas sector is the largest industrial source of methane emissions in the United States and reducing these emissions is the biggest, most cost-effective opportunity to make “fast meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas pollution.”
Reducing methane emissions isn’t as difficult or as costly as the industry claims. For example, Jonah Energy reduced fugitive methane emissions by 75 percent and cut repair time by 85 percent, saving more than $5 million in product. We’ve got to do it now.
Methane traps 84 times as much heat as CO2 over 25 years. The IPCC suggests methane is responsible for 25 percent of the world’s global warming and is a climate destroying fossil fuel.
According to a recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology, the biggest problem is the “super emitters” – large, unpredictable leaks caused by equipment failure, human error or other factors. The study recommended that “regularized, widespread monitoring facilities across the supply chain” could quickly find and fix leaks in equipment.
According to the EPA, methane constitutes about 10 percent of total US greenhouse gas emissions. Methane has a warming potential that is about 25 times greater than carbon dioxide, according to the EPA and the IPCC.
What do the fabulists say?
Bill McKibben, whose fracking “facts” have been debunked more often that your president has apologized to foreign dignitaries, is still at it. Here are his assertions:
- Fracking would do more climate damage than coal even if only a small percentage of methane is leaked;
- America’s contribution to global warming increased during the Obama years;
- the nation is leaking methane in massive quantities;
- new research backs prior claims of McKibben and Ingraffea;
- Gasland is one of the classic environmental documentaries of all time.
Next week: Why the new rules are neither good for the industry nor helpful in reducing global warming.
Our musical interlude: Here is where these studies take me.