Monday, December 5, 2022

Play

A Louisiana Public Service Commission runoff could affect energy policy, LGBTQ advocates await final passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, and democracy gets a voter-approved overhaul in Oregon.

Play

An election law theory critics say could cause chaos is before the Supreme Court, lawmakers condemn former President Trump's idea to suspend the Constitution, and Democrats switch up the presidential primary calendar.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Plugging Methane Leaks Key to Improving CO Air Quality

Play

Thursday, April 28, 2022   

Smaller or marginal wells account for just 6% of the nation's oil and gas production, but are responsible for half of all methane pollution in the U.S., according to a new report published in the journal Nature Communications.

More than 30,000 marginal wells across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming produce 200,000 tons of methane pollution each year.

Laurie Anderson, Colorado field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force, said methane is a major driver of climate change because it is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

"Here in Colorado we're seeing increased drought and heat resulting in increased wildfires that threaten our communities, even in the middle of winter," Anderson observed. "Reigning in methane pollution is critical for keeping our planet habitable for our children and grandchildren."

She added it is also a public health issue. Colorado's air quality was recently downgraded from serious to severe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for ground-level ozone levels far above limits set under the Clean Air Act.

Oil and gas emissions are a major contributor to ozone, especially along the Front Range, which put vulnerable communities, including small children and older adults, at risk.

Industry groups have argued inspections and equipment upgrades needed to prevent waste are too costly for smaller operators.

Jon Goldstein, senior director of regulatory and legislative affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund, countered smaller wells usually are not owned by mom-and-pop operations.

"The vast majority of these wells belong to large, often multinational oil and gas companies that have more than enough capital to invest in these wells," Goldstein argued. "It's just a matter of making sure, through regulations, that they do so."

The study found smaller wells lose enough methane, the primary component of natural gas, to meet the energy needs of more than 3.6 million U.S. homes annually. Colorado recently adopted rules to tackle methane emissions including marginal well sites, and Anderson said the EPA should follow suit.

"Colorado is making great progress on limiting methane pollution, and we need the EPA to follow Colorado's lead," Anderson urged. "By ensuring regular monitoring at all smaller high-polluting and leak-prone wells and upgrading equipment to eliminate leaks."

Disclosure: The Environmental Defense Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Around 56% of those surveyed by Pew Research view climate-change policies as good for the environment. However, Americans are split on whether those policies help or harm the U.S. economy. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Small cell facilities are often attached to utility poles within the public right-of-way. (Oxford Science/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Thousands of wireless transmitters could pop up across unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County in the next few years if the Board of Supervisors ap…


Health and Wellness

As winter looms in Missouri, health officials are expressing concern over the potential for three viruses to impact facilities. This season has …

Social Issues

Research says 80% of community-college students intend to transfer to complete a bachelor's degree, but only 14% do so within six years. …


Around 21 million American children receive free or reduced-price lunch at school, but only half of them receive free breakfast despite being eligible, according to New Hampshire Hunger Solutions. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Advocates for children say up to 7,000 students in New Hampshire public schools are going hungry following the rejection of a federal program for low-…

Social Issues

By Carrie Baker for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Roz Brown for Texas News Service reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News Service …

A caucus is not an election; it's a political party gathering in which party members choose candidates for an election. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

For the first time in almost 50 years, Iowa will not hold the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses for Democrats. The national party has ousted …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska is one of a dozen states experiencing "very high" levels of influenza, and the highest percentage of cases has been in children and young …

Environment

Tribal representatives from across the Northwest are flying into Washington, D.C. this week to discuss how mine waste in British Columbia is …

 

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