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Natural gas leaks are a much bigger problem than w...

Natural gas has been touted as a green energy source by some because, when burned for fuel, it emits less CO2 than coal. But before that happens, leaks from across the natural gas supply chain — from the drilling process to gas stoves — can unintentionally vent methane into the atmosphere. That’s especially bad news, since methane is roughly 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. And, according to a new study in...

BUT AT WHAT COST? -To many, the pipelines are a li...

The first signs of change came to Belmont County several years ago, as natural gas extraction company trucks rumbled over the roads. Next came drilling rigs and pipelines for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. To many, the pipelines are a lifeline in impoverished Appalachia, bringing in jobs and money. Despite the economic boom, environmentalists and some residents are questioning the health and safety of...

Millions of abandoned wells spark climate, safety ...

A couple of years ago, Charlie Brethauer started to smell gas in the backyard of his home. Figuring it was a leak from the service line that heats his garage, he grabbed a shovel and started digging in a patch of blackened soil about 20 feet from the back door of his rural home in Richland Township, Pa., 15 miles north of Pittsburgh. The shovel struck a plastic bucket covering the end of a vertical steel pipe. As he widened...

Exxon predicted in 1982 exactly how high global ca...

CO2 in the atmosphere has reached unprecedented levels. The concentration of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere reached an unprecedented level this month. Researchers at the fossil fuel giant Exxon saw it coming decades ago. Measurements taken on May 3 at the world’s oldest measuring station, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, recorded “humanity’s first day ever with more than 415 parts per million [ppm] CO2 in the...

Fracking 2.0 Was a Financial Disaster, Will Fracki...

Two years ago, the U.S. fracking industry was trying to recover from the crash in the price of oil. Shale companies were promoting the idea that fracking was viable even at low oil prices (despite losing money when oil prices were high). At the time, no one was making money fracking with the business-as-usual approach, but then the Wall Street Journal published a story claiming all of this was about to change because the...

A Disturbing Tale of Diminishing Returns in Ohio

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently announced that Ohio’s recoverable shale gas reserves have magically increased by 11,076 billion cubic feet (BCF). This increase ranks the Buckeye State in the top 5 for changes in recoverable shale natural gas reserves between 2016 and 2017 (pages 31- 32 here). After reading the predictable and superficial media coverage, we thought it was time to revisit the data to...

‘It’s a ghost page’: EPA site...

Material that said humans were warming the planet was taken down last year for an ‘update’ More than a year after the US Environmental Protection Agency took down information on climate change from its website for an “update”, it now seems uncertain whether it will ever reappear. In April last year, the EPA replaced its online climate change section with a holding page that said the content was being updated to “reflect the...

IEEFA update: The investment rationale for fossil ...

An outdated mindset that no longer lives up to its hype For decades, the fossil fuel sector literally fuelled the global economy and powered the world’s investment markets. This is no longer the case. The long-standing and now outdated investment thesis around fossil fuels—that such holdings would make large and reliable annual contributions to institutional funds—has crumbled. The sector now lags the broader market, and the...

An alternative to propping up coal power plants: R...

The Trump administration announced new pollution rules for coal-fired power plants designed to keep existing coal power plants operating more and save American coal mining jobs. Profitability for U.S. coal power plants has plummeted, and one major coal company after another has filed for bankruptcy, including the world’s largest private-sector coal company, Peabody Energy. The main reason coal is in decline is less expensive...

The mythical peril of divesting from fossil fuels

The mythical peril of divesting from fossil fuels Commentary 13 June, 2018 Published as part of our Sustainable Finance Leadership Series By Jeremy Grantham, Co-Founder, Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment I have met more investment committees than I care to think about. Perhaps a couple of thousand. There is a no more conservative group on the planet than an investment committee. You could be forgiven...

Trump Administration May Soon Ax Obama’s Big...

Many expect EPA will reassess the Clean Power Plan to show a higher price tag and smaller benefits U.S. EPA staff under Administrator Scott Pruitt might refute Obama-era findings that reducing carbon dioxide emissions has large health benefits. Credit: Riccardo Savi Getty Images When the Obama administration issued its landmark climate rule in 2015, officials declared that benefits to public health and the climate would be...

Under Trump, inconvenient data is being sidelined

How Trump is rolling back Obama’s legacy View Graphic Under Trump, inconvenient data is being sidelined  By  Juliet Eilperin Washington Post | The Trump administration has removed or tucked away a wide variety of information that until recently was provided to the public, limiting access, for instance, to disclosures about workplace violations, energy efficiency, and animal welfare abuses. Some of the information relates to...

American energy use, in one diagram

Mmm … spaghetti. American energy use, in one diagram How much energy we use, what kind, and how much is wasted. Updated by  David Roberts @drvox david@vox.com  Apr 13, 2017, 8:30am EDT Vox | Spring brings new growth, new possibilities, and, best of all, a new spaghetti diagram from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) at the Department of Energy. Every year, LLNL produces a new energy flow chart showing the...

Cheap Shale Gas, Not EPA Rules, Is Driving Decline...

From R&D Magazine:Cheap shale gas produced by fracking has driven the decline in coal production in the United States during the last decade, researchers at the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve University have found. Power plants, which use 93 percent of the coal produced nationally, have been operating under the same EPA regulations signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Proposed new...

In the Birthplace of U.S. Oil, Methane Gas Is Leak...

Some wells sunk since 1859 leak methane into homes and water “Citizen scientists” join regulators in race to map lost sites A mail box sits on an abandoned well pipe near blooming peonies, logs snag on metal casings rising out of a creek, children swing next to rusted pump jacks. In Pennsylvania, birthplace of the U.S. oil industry, century-old abandoned oil wells have long been part of the landscape. Nobody gave...