Thursday, December 1, 2022

Play

Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.

Play

The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.

Play

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

Report: Oil-Field Flaring Emits More Methane than Previously Known

Play

Friday, October 7, 2022   

Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas could be more harmful than previously thought.

The industry has maintained that flaring at oil and gas fields is 98% effective at reducing methane. The study, however, showed that the rate is closer to 91%.

"And you don't even have to be an expert with a flare camera to see unlit flares and smoking flares at any given moment," said Sheila Serna, climate science and policy director at the Rio Grande International Study Center, who previously worked as an air investigator in Texas.

High levels of methane can reduce the amount of oxygen people get from the air, resulting in multiple health problems. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release its supplemental proposal for regulating methane pollution sometime this month.

John Goldstein, senior director for regulatory and legislative affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund, said the study findings show flaring is responsible for five times more methane entering the atmosphere than previously estimated.

"That's a big deal for climate," he said. "That's a big deal for the waste of natural-gas resources. That's a big deal for local air pollution."

In 2020 and 2021, Goldstein said, researchers took more than 12 flights to test the emissions produced by flaring across the three major U.S. oil- and gas-producing areas.

"Eighty-percent of this problem is focused in two states: North Dakota and Texas," he said. "So, those are two states that have a lot of flaring, and that haven't done adequate measures at the state level to really curtail that practice."

Texas currently does not regulate methane emissions, and Serna said that's needed because when flares don't operate properly, they release unburned methane directly into the atmosphere.

"The regulation is the first step," she said, "but state agencies also need to do their part in making sure that the regulations are actually followed and carried out - holding the state accountable, and holding industry accountable to following the regulation."

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.


get more stories like this via email
The gold dome on the Iowa Capitol has been gilded five times. The gold leaf covering the dome is 250,000th of an inch thick and is 23.75 karats. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …


Environment

Residential water rates in Michigan are soaring, with an estimated one out of ten households without access to or unable to afford clean water…

Environment

Fracking is a very water-intensive industry, and a new study dives into the impact of unconventional oil and gas drilling on aquatic ecosystems in …


Tom Oliver, center, receives the 2022 Washington Andrus Award for Community Service. (Bruce Carlson/AARP Washington)

Social Issues

A Bellingham man who supports people with dementia has received one of the most prestigious awards for volunteerism in Washington state. The …

Social Issues

Native American tribal communities and conservation groups got a big win Wednesday as President Joe Biden announced he intends to create a new nationa…

The 2020 Iowa caucuses were beset with tabulation problems, which set off a discussion on whether to shake up the Democratic primary process. (Scoutori/Adobestock)

Social Issues

A decision could come today on Nevada's bid to become the first state in the nation to hold a Democratic primary in 2024. The Democratic National …

Environment

Snow is on the ground in much of Minnesota, but the state is coming off another warm season with notable drought conditions. Those who monitor …

Environment

By Ray Levy Uyeda for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Greater Dakota News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-…

 

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