methane emissions

Wasting Gas

A proposed rule limiting flaring and venting of natural gas is a win for everyone except greedy oil and gas operators.   

Yesterday, the Interior Department posted a proposed rule to limit flaring and venting of natural gas on public lands. The rule will be good for everyone except the oil and gas operators who waste the gas, increasing methane and carbon emissions while giving the public nothing in return.  The rule is clearly a step in …


Climate News from Capitol Hill

There are small but hopeful signs of progress in overcoming legislative gridlock.

Over a decade ago, the Waxman-Markey carbon trading bill died in the Senate. President Obama then had to rely entirely on administrative actions to address climate change. Republicans united in a solid wall of violent opposition to climate action.  There are some hopeful signs that things may not be quite so tough for President Biden. …


Hitching a Ride on the Omnibus

In a holiday gift from Congress, environmental gains arrive in an overstuffed spending bill.

The massive omnibus bill that just passed Congress contains a bevy of environment friendly provisions.  Despite some last-minute tweeted complaints from Trump about the bill, those provisions are likely to make their way into law. Given that the Senate and the White House are in Republican hands,  it’s a wonder when such provisions sneak through …


Is California Fracking Regulation Out of Focus?

I’ve long been skeptical of the push that some on the left have made to ban hydraulic fracturing of natural gas.  From an environmental perspective, I’d much rather have a natural gas-based fuel mix than one based on coal, and in any event, if there is that much money in the ground, people are going …


Fracking, Methane, and Moving Toward Better Data Through Collaboration

Is using natural gas produced through fracking better for the environment than using coal?  The answer is an unqualified maybe .  That’s because we don’t have good enough data to  know definitively.  But a  new collaboration between academics, the fracking industry and environmentalists aims to fill the data gap. First, some background. The boom in …


What a Gas! A Rare Win-Win

Oil and gas wells vent or flare off natural gas.  New technology shows that this is actually a lot more gas than anyone knew — about four percent of production, according to GAO. Capturing that natural gas for sale would give the government millions of dollars in royalties. Vented gas is methane, a more potent …