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Monday, May 29, 2023

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Advocates call for a climate peace clause in U.S.-E.U. trade talks, negotiations yield a tentative debt ceiling deal, an Idaho case unravels federal water protections, and a wet spring eases Iowa's drought.

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Gold Star families gather to remember loved ones on Memorial Day, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says the House will vote on a debt ceiling bill this week and America's mayors lay out their strategies for summertime public safety.

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The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

Report: 40% of Regional Methane Pollution Linked to "Super Emitters"

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Friday, September 23, 2022   

A relatively small number of so-called "super emitters" are responsible for 40% of the methane emissions in oil and gas hotspots such as California's Central Valley, according to a new report.

Experts from Carbon Mappers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and two universities in Arizona flew over the basin and measured the invisible gas with spectrometers.

Jon Goldstein, senior director of regulatory and legislative affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund, which co-authored the report, said the health of the planet depends on reducing methane emissions.

"Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, more than 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it's emitted," he said. "So, getting these problems fixed, keeping this methane in the pipes and out of our air, is a really important way to bend the curve on climate change."

The Environmental Protection Agency is working on national regulations to require methane capture. Emissions from animal feedlots also play a role. The report found California has fewer super-emitters compared with other states that have weaker methane-capture rules.

Goldstein noted that technology exists to find and fix pipeline leaks or to capture excess gas instead of burning it off.

"It's a waste of resources. It's a big source of pollution that's leading to unhealthy air quality," he said. "It definitely is something that the oil and gas industry ought to be addressing."

Oil and gas companies have long complained that methane capture is time-consuming and expensive. However, a report from the International Energy Agency found that the industry could cut 45% of its methane emissions at no net cost to them.

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


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