The NYTimes progressives wish nat gas to fail so that (magical thinking) people will be forced to go "green." Now, this doesn't mean that we will have solar and wind power available to ready to install to replace the bad bad bad fossil fuel, nat gas! So what else do Sulzbergers and company want then, if no replacement is available? Ah, the progressive wet-dream, energy starvation. Let the yokels have blackouts. It'll clean the air and save the earth. Let them take public transportation.
What about me? Ah! Glad you asked. Yes, tighten up gas releases into the atmosphere, or else. Go for massive wind turbine at sea, expansion, and employ perovskite solar cells, along with storage innovations. Replace the bad with the good, and don't simply be against the bad, if you have no replacement underway. Otherwise, it's just a crazed ideology that is being proposed.
Local involvement can curb this. Richmond refinery in CA (Chevron) was in federal compliance, but got so many articles in the local paper and constant calls from local people they tightened up emissions.
A very well written article explaining why natural gas is not the savior of the energy industry because of a lot of methane emissions from oil companies.. Methane is 80x stronger than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Methane emissions have only spiked since 2007, which is attributed to the equal spike in natural gas fracking. . Oil companies are trying to get methane emissions relaxed by the Trump administration as early as 2017, rolling back Obama regulations that would force them to be cleaner and carry fines for high emitters by 2025.
I was told in this sub that this would never happen because this is free money for the industry to sell. Look at my surprised face. I wish I could find the poster but they've probably started a new sock puppet by now.
Methane has experienced negative value in some places, so you have to pay to get rid of it. So leaking from a market perspective isn't surprising. It's a market failure, not because the price is negative, but because they are leaking it without any penalty for the negative externality they are creating.
This failure is part of the economic subsidies to the oil industry, on top of the actual money they receive and tax breaks etc...
In my theory methane emissions really make global warming worse (actually worse than alarmists itself expected) - but they're mostly generated by natural sources: arctic soil and methane deposits at sea bottom. But thanks to shale gas the price of oil still remains under control - without it we would have another financial crisis (or even oil wars) of western world already. In addition shale gas wells are of short lifetime - less than two years actually so that the "problem" of shale gas emissions will solve soon by itself. See also:
Carbon tax and "renewables" make impact of climatic changes worse 1, 2, 3, 4, ...
Fixing rig and refinery leaks is a start, but many -- perhaps most -- gas leaks simply cannot be fixed. What this article doesn't cover are the soil leakage of methane around gas fields and coal mines, and the barely measured "last mile" leakage in cities and towns, both of which are nearly impossible to stop...until we stop using methane, of course.
The fact that it's simple to address ticks me off even more. If they had mandatory inspections with thermal cameras then the price of these expert devices would go down as everyone would have one in their facilities.
Even Nasa could help pinpointing leaks from space and warning the facilities to fix it up.
Going for a CO2 tax while low hanging fruit like this is still unaddressed is totally pointless if not counter productive.
No because these methane emissions go unreported and also when they report they are underreported NOW without ANY penalty. You think they'll go running to the tax man to report something they are not even obligated to monitor?
What would happen is that a fixed accounting percentage would be established for oil fields and that doesn't address the real issue, it's all imagination and theory. What we need is technology and science applied on the field.
Did you even read the article?
OTOH consumers at the pump will pay for what they purchase without any chance of underreporting...
>You think they'll go running to the tax man to report something they are not even obligated to monitor?
Then obligate them. What's the problem? It's not not particularly difficult to find the cheats. And slap a hefty enough fine for it to be a deterrent. It's not rocket science.
It's easy to make the consumer pay at the pump or natural gas meter exactly the amount they will pollute. It's nearly impossible (maybe with a FLIR drone armada?) to do this at the oil&gas exploration.
> Going for a CO2 tax while low hanging fruit like this is still unaddressed is totally pointless if not counter productive.
This is directly false. If we don't put a price on carbon, it's an unpriced asset in our financial system and will be abused to the fullest. By pricing carbon, we can lean on market forces to help balance emissions vs. value instead of succumbing to a tragedy of the commons.
Also, every bit helps - we need to reduce/eliminate greenhouse gasses on every front, the effects are cumulative.
Are you implying that one couldn't be set? Or trying to hash out economic and financial policy in a reddit comment?
If some things are improperly priced, have zero price, or manage to slip through the cracks, would that mean that an entire pricing system has no benefit? No. It wouldn't.
A pricing system that would not only maintain these emissions without a cost but would burden the poor with a tax on activities with no real carbonless alternatives for their income isn't bad, it's terrible and unjust.
These companies have an alternative:monitor and fix their equipment. Poor people have no alternative. The rich can buy low carbon options like teslas and solar pv+hvac for their homes. The poor and isolated can bearly pay for that propane tank when it goes empty.
>A pricing system that would not only maintain these emissions without a cost but would burden the poor with a tax on activities with no real carbonless alternatives for their income isn't bad, it's terrible and unjust.
With no particular system proposed, how can you argue against the details of one? It's possible it will be regressive, but not guaranteed. It's also one of the easier things to actually enact.
So you don't like carbon pricing because it doesn't address every issue simultaneously. What do you propose that will provide a similar cut in emissions and meet your criteria?
Don't bother moving the goal posts. Insane and wasteful pollution like this should be addressed ASAP with technology that we now have. It could be solved literally overnight like the situations that this journalist and his investigation team reported to the companies.
If you're waiting for a tax driven market mechanism to adjust consumer habits when there are no green alternatives wistfully ignoring super emitters we'll all be long dead before GHG are curtailed.
You seem to think we can only do one thing at once...
Of course we should stop industrial leaks. Did you think I was arguing against doing that? Based on what?
>Going for a CO2 tax while low hanging fruit like this is still unaddressed is totally pointless if not counter productive.
You sad this, but you haven't said why you think CO2 tax would be pointless or counter productive.
Not the other guy, but I'll say it. CO2 taxes are counter productive. They tend to attract enormous political backlash. Expending political energy on a carbon tax isn't likely to get you a very large carbon tax, but it will cost you an election.
Should we find ways to make emitting carbon more expensive? Absolutely. But it should be more piecemeal.
Because it doesn't address wasteful leaking and the current imbalance between natural gas production and crude because of fracking. The consumer has no alternative while big industry will keep polluting and pay an accounting determined "carbon emission" instead of what they truly pollute like in these horrendously obvious methane cases.
Just a quick example of how it can be counter productive: if you tax natural gas at the consumer level people will start using electric alternatives, great right? Well natural gas in the US is already trading at negative values where oil is explored, if you curtail consumption of natural gas while not providing an alternative to liquid fuels you're actually creating an incentive for crude extractors to burn or leak the methane to get the valuable crude for liquid fuel.
Unintended consequences right? Like how Mao set off a massive famine by having the bright idea of killing birds that ate some grains !
This happens with a lot of things that need to be regulated. First industry denies it's a real problem. Then they kick and scream about how regulations will be too expensive to implement and they'll all end up going out of business while tanking the economy. Then the government makes them do it anyway and it ends up not being nearly the huge problem they swore it would be.
Like with the auto industry and seatbelts and catalytic converters.
We just need a government that isn't ran by science denying industry shills.
We've all worked with someone like this. "What you're asking me to do is impossible and it will take forever and it won't work!"
30 minutes later..."I made the changes you asked for."
It is the worst kind of person to work with. Intellectually lazy and afraid of any solution that they haven't devised.
my point is.... methane is 4 times the size of hydrogen gas... MAKING IT 4 TIMES EASIER FOR HYDROGEN TO LEAK......
and if industry... CANNOT BE TRUSTED TO STORE METHANE... the very idea that industry can be trusted to store hydrogen safely... over decades... is ... well.... a disaster waiting to happen
As early as March 2017 — just months after the presidential inauguration — fossil fuel companies made contact with the Trump administration to argue for a rollback of methane emissions rules.
They held repeated meetings with federal officials, including an important one in November 2018, when lobbyists for DCP, EagleClaw and other oil processing companies met with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss a critical topic: unintended or “fugitive” methane emissions.
Representatives of the lobby group, GPA Midstream, argued that the E.P.A. should relax monitoring requirements for fugitive emissions at gathering and compressor facilities, according to regulatory records reviewed by The Times. GPA Midstream met with Trump administration officials at least three times on the matter.
“More frequent monitoring would not be cost-effective,” GPA lobbyists later said in comments filed with the agency, and stricter regulation was “costly and burdensome.”
. . .
The companies found an administration willing to listen. Before his appointment to the post of assistant administrator at the E.P.A. overseeing air pollution, William L. Wehrum lobbied on behalf of oil and gas producers, including gas processors and petroleum refineries.
. . .
By this August, the E.P.A. had proposed a broad rollback, including rescinding direct regulations of methane emissions completely. Volatile organic compounds, a separate but related category of gases, would remain regulated, which would have a side effect of limiting some methane emissions.
My SO works at a company that makes tech to detect leaks (which some companies want once they realize fewer leaks will help them save money and, like PG&E, possibly avoid (some) bad publicity). So there is some work to fix this problem.
Recovering a few fractions of a percent of lost profits due to leaks will almost never be worth it for these companies under current rules.
Know what would *really* spur investment into the tech your SO works on? If we decided as a country to put a price on fossil carbon (both combusted and uncombusted) and taxed companies profiting off the extraction, distribution and sale of fossil fuels.
The tax should be based on the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the gas released, so methane for example would be taxed at a rate 30 - 80 (depending on horizon) times that of CO2. Then you can sit back and watch as the free market scrambles to cap every single leak bigger than an gnats fart.