skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

WV’s Low-Output Oil, Gas Wells Big Contributors to Methane Emissions

play audio
Play

Tuesday, May 10, 2022   

Smaller oil and gas wells churn out roughly half the nation's overall methane emissions and contribute significantly to climate change, according to a study by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), published in the journal Nature Communications.

Del. Evan Hansen, D-Monongalia, said there are about 75,000 oil and gas wells across the Mountain State. He noted thousands are considered to be low-producing, defined as fewer than 15 barrels per day.

Hansen stressed he wants the state to ramp up regular inspection of wells.

"One problem we've had in West Virginia is that there's so few inspectors at the Office of Oil and Gas," Hansen explained. "They've had to downsize recently because they haven't been properly funded."

Hansen recently sponsored a bill to place a $100 fee on oil and gas wells, to fund the state's Department of Environmental Protection and hire more inspectors.

The study estimated oil and gas wells in the Appalachian region are responsible for releasing more than 1.2 million metric tons of methane per year, about 30% of all methane pollution from low-producing wells nationwide.

Hansen added climate change, driven by uncontrolled release of methane, carbon and other greenhouse gases, is increasing the number of West Virginians affected by flooding and property damage. In addition to stepping up inspections, Hansen wants the state to examine its regulatory policies.

"I think that the low-producing oil and gas wells have gotten special treatment from the legislature," Hansen asserted. "For example, they don't pay severance tax if the production is low enough. But I don't think that's right."

According to the EDF, the total amount of methane emitted into the atmosphere from a half-million low-producing wells scattered across the country has the same impact on the climate every year as 88 coal-fired power plants.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A new report from California Competes outlined four main areas of action for colleges to take to reengage, reenroll, and propel comebacker students to completion. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 6 million Californians stopped out of college before getting a degree and a new report has laid out a plan to bring them back on campus…


Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's public school system is facing a crisis, according to the recently released "Public Schooling in America 2024" report. It ranks the …

Social Issues

play sound

In the 2023 legislative season, 25 states introduced legislation related to artificial intelligence and more than a dozen states enacted AI …


Colorado's I Matter program provides adolescents in crisis access to six free mental-health counseling sessions, with referrals for further help if it is necessary. (Pexels)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Advocates say Colorado legislative leaders are working to make the state a leader in addressing the youth mental health crisis. At least nine bills …

Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of organizations in Georgia is joining forces to combat the rising rate of suicide among children and teenagers. According to national …

States including California and Illinois have passed mental health legislation similar to what Michigan is now considering, without seeing increases to insurance premiums. (Drazen/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A House bill aimed at increasing access to mental health care in Michigan could go to a vote on the House floor at any time. Rep. Felicia Brabec…

Social Issues

play sound

Rep. Ben Toma, R-Peoria, Speaker of the Arizona House, has introduced legislation with hopes to curtail illegal immigration and save Arizonans big in …

play sound

Most school and transit buses on the nation's roadways these days are still powered by diesel engines but in Wisconsin and elsewhere, there is hope …

 

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