The nay-sayers and tut-tutters were out in force last week to rip the pricy publicity stunt that saw actor William Shatner, who rocketed to fame as Captain Kirk on “Star Trek” in the 1960s, make an actual space visit over the West Texas desert.
October’s falling temperatures and leaves bring with them not only the realization that harsh Wisconsin winters are on the way, but also the f…
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Volkswagen has paid an estimated $33.3 billion in fines and settlements since 2015 for what has become known as “Dieselgate.” Through that pipeline, the German automaker is helping Racine buy buses that don't guzzle diesel.
Established under the Obama administration, the Clean Power Plan regulated greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the nation’s second-largest source of planet-warming gas. But in 2019, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency replaced this plan with a new rule designed to protect the coal industry while backing away from emissions reductions. Whereas the Clean Power Plan was expected to reduce emissions by about 30% by 2030, EPA projections suggest the replacement rule might reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.7%, or possibly not at all.
Biden has already said he will rejoin the Paris climate agreement, but there’s much more he could do to show the world that the United States is serious about fighting climate change. A report from Brown University’s Climate Solutions Lab lays out a series of steps that include creating a “climate club” of countries that volunteer to reduce emissions by agreeing to set a minimum price on carbon and penalize high-emitting countries through trade measures such as tariffs. Another proposal outlined in the report calls for Biden to work with the European Union — the largest importer of natural gas — as well as Canada and Mexico to curb methane emissions.
One of the most significant steps Biden could take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would to be reinstate tough nationwide rules for auto emissions and mileage standards that were put in place under the Obama administration and that essentially mirrored regulations already in effect in California. These rules are important because transportation is a top source of planet-warming gases. When they were put in place, they were considered one of the nation’s most successful efforts to combat climate change.
A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet.
Because the natural gas infrastructure is so vast, it is not possible to measure every leak from every faulty valve or fitting. Indeed, we don’t even have accurate estimates of the total number of valves and fittings. The best way to estimate the total amount of methane emissions from the natural gas infrastructure is to perform as many measurements as possible from as many different types of components as possible. The reason that one has to perform hundreds or even thousands of measurements from each type of equipment is so that you can capture the high-emitting sources (the so-called super-emitters), which are low in number but their emissions are so high that they can account for 50% to 80% of the total emissions.
The Obama-era regulations were put in place in 2016 to set emissions limits for methane from a variety of sources in the oil and gas industry. The 2016 regulations built upon previous regulations put in place in 2012 for emissions of volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs), which are nonmethane hydrocarbon gases produced by oil and gas operations. The companies that had installed controls for VOC emissions sources were not required to install any new controls because reduction in VOC emissions also reduce methane emissions.
The EPA estimates that the proposed new amendments would save the oil and gas industry $17 to $19 million per year. While this may sound like a lot of money, it pales in comparison to the economic value to be gained by minimizing leakage. We estimate that reducing methane emissions from 2.3% to 1% would result in an annual revenue of over a half billion dollars per year, which is more than 30 times the estimated savings from rolling back the regulations. Many oil and gas companies recognize this fact, and they also recognize that regulations are needed to ensure that all companies are held to the same standard.
While politicians argue the merits of President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from America’s power plants — including…