Sunday, February 5, 2023


Fare-free public transit benefits Kansas City residents and businesses; farmers prioritize food, not feed in the 2023 Farm Bill; and a new survey: students want a more diverse inclusive curriculum.


The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Ohio's Low-Producing Wells Leave Huge Methane Footprint


Tuesday, April 26, 2022   

They account for a minuscule amount of U.S. oil and gas production, but new research found low-producing oil and gas wells have a large methane footprint.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas responsible for at least one-quarter of current global warming. According to the report, the country's 565,000 low-production well sites are responsible for a combined four million metric tons of methane, or nearly half of all U.S. methane emissions.

Tracy Sabetta, an organizer for Moms Clean Air Force in Ohio, explained a huge share, 30%, comes from the Appalachian Basin, which includes Ohio.

"With Ohio having as many oil and gas producing wells as we do, it is a pollutant that we just can't ignore," Sabetta asserted. "In fact, our state has the second-highest number of individuals who live within a half-mile of an oil and natural gas producing facility."

The study is published in the journal Nature Communications. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering new standards to reduce oil and gas methane emissions, but operators producing lower emissions would be exempt.

Mark Omara, senior analyst for the Environmental Defense Fund and the study's lead author, said the bulk of emissions from low-production natural gas sites is the result of prolonged negligence by operators.

"Rusted pipes from which leaks occur, pressure-relief valves that malfunction, open-thief hatches on tanks that continue to vent," Omara outlined. "All of these issues can be fixed via regular monitoring and leak inspection and repair."

Sabetta suggested it is in the best interest of the oil and gas industry to address methane leaks, as about 10% of low-production well sites are less than 10 years old.

"If you look at prices from 2019, there's more than $700 million in wasted natural gas," Sabetta pointed out. "That is enough to supply over 3.6 million homes in the U.S. annually, or to power every single home in Ohio."

An earlier analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund found the vast majority of low-production wells are owned by major companies with the financial resources to reduce energy waste.

Disclosure: The Environmental Defense Fund's Energy Transition Program contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
A researcher examines Kernza grains. (The Land Institute)


By Jake Christie for Great Lakes Echo. Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection, reporting for Great Lakes Echo/Solutions …

Social Issues

By Gabes Torres for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Kathryn Carley for Maine News Service, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …

Social Issues

Tribal leaders from the eight federally recognized tribes in Utah gathered at a news conference at the state Capitol this week and called on state law…

In 2022, Ohio had 1,580,547 students enrolled in a total of 3,136 public schools across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Education. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Ohio's teachers are applauding the governor's recently announced plan to overhaul the state's reading curriculum for elementary schoolers and boost re…


As the economy has changed with the pandemic in the past few years, Indiana's small communities have seen an exodus of jobs and people. However…

The Biochar Research Network Act would have set up as many as 20 biochar research facilities across the country. (K.salo.85/Wikimedia Commons)


By Lisa Held for Civil Eats. Broadcast version by Eric Tegethoff for Big Sky Connection, reporting for Civil Eats/Solutions Journalism/Public News …

Social Issues

Students who are also parents face more challenges getting through college, but support for these students is getting an upgrade at Bowie State …

Social Issues

Arizona State University, YouTube and the video channel Crash Course have announced a partnership to offer a series of online courses for college …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021