Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that it had completed rules that will regulate methane and other emissions from new natural gas and oil drilling sites. The rules, which have already received extensive public and industry comment, are focused on methane due to its potency as a greenhouse gas, but they'll also limit emissions of toxic chemicals and pollutants that contribute to ground-level ozone. In making the announcement, the EPA also issued a call for data regarding existing hardware; the agency intends to eventually regulate the emissions from that hardware as well. The new rules cover any new or updated hardware for oil and natural gas wells, as well as sites that collect, process, and compress natural gas for distribution. Formulated under the Clean Air Act, the rules had already gone extensive public comment. In response, the EPA tightened a few cases; low production wells will now have to be monitored, and the frequency of monitoring at compressor … [Read more...] about EPA issues rules to cut methane, volatiles from new oil and gas sites
Increasing gas prices
Left unchecked, climate change aligned with population explosion and low agricultural yields will drastically increase global poverty and hunger over the next two decades, warns the international aid organization Oxfam in a report released today (May 31).The prices of staple foods such as corn and rice will speed up their ascent, Oxfam predicts, and will climb by 180 percent and 130 percent, respectively, by the year 2030.In a world where the poorest people now spend as much as 80 percent of their incomes on food the average Filipino spends proportionally four times more on sustenance than the average British person, for example drastic food scarcities and price hikes will likely push many struggling populations into hunger and, potentially, starvation.In its new report, Growing a Better Future, Oxfam says current trends indicate that the world's population will reach 9 billion by mid-century; meanwhile, the average growth rate in agricultural yields has almost halved since 1990. Left … [Read more...] about When Will Earth Run Out of Food?
Fracking—the use of hydraulic pressure to crack layers of shale that hold oil and natural gas—is controversial. That’s one thing we know about a debate that mainly focuses on what we don’t know. The most common concern is the contamination of drinking water, either by the chemicals used in the fracking fluid or by liberated natural gas. And this issue has entered the public consciousness through media like the film Gasland and its imagery of flaming faucets—though almost 40 percent of people in the US say they’ve never heard of fracking. In interviews promoting the recent sequel to Gasland, filmmaker Josh Fox has given voice to a new claim being made by opponents of fracking—that shale gas is just as bad for the climate as coal, and it might even be worse. Throughout the US shale gas boom, natural gas has been described as a “bridge fuel”—a lower-CO2 alternative to coal that yields immediate emissions reductions while … [Read more...] about Methane burned vs. methane leaked: Fracking’s impact on climate change
Iran, one of the countries most strongly identified with the rise cyber terrorism and malicious hacking, appears now to be using an iron fist to turn on its own. The country has reportedly shut down nearly all internet access in the country in retaliation to escalating protests that were originally ignited by a rise in fuel prices, according to readings taken by NetBlocks, an NGO that monitors cybersecurity and internet governance around the world. Confirmed: #Iran is now in the midst of a near-total national internet shutdown; realtime network data show connectivity at 7% of ordinary levels after twelve hours of progressive network disconnections as public protests continue #IranProtests 📉 📰 https://t.co/1Al0DT8an1 pic.twitter.com/u6bVsfvOOm — NetBlocks.org (@netblocks) November 16, 2019 The last reports of outages came from yesterday (Saturday) evening, so we have contacted NetBlocks to get a more updated picture. So far, the picture looks pretty bleak. … [Read more...] about Iran shuts down country’s internet in the wake of fuel protests
The Trump administration today announced a new proposal to reverse Obama-era regulations that limit how much methane, a potent greenhouse gas, the oil and natural gas industries are allowed to emit. The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed amendments would "remove unnecessary regulatory duplication" put into place in 2016, according to a press release. The proposals made today are separate from and in addition to a 2018 proposed rule that eased methane reporting and monitoring requirements for oil- and gas-extraction businesses. The proposed plan (PDF) would "rescind emissions limits for methane from the production and processing segments of the industry," the EPA says. The proposal would also remove parts of the transmission and storage segments of the oil and gas industry—generally called the midstream business—from being subject to regulation, by claiming the agency was out of line when it added sources such as transmission compressor stations, … [Read more...] about Trump admin. announces plan to kill 2016 methane emissions limits