EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
November 21, 2014
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued last week a new rule intended to clarify the oil and gas emissions data drilling companies submit to EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting program (GHGRP). The new regulation takes effect at the beginning of next year and reflects a better picture of the methane pollution from oil and gas production. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, is an enormously potent greenhouse gas polluter. Scientists now estimate that methane traps 86 times more heat over a twenty-year period than the same amount of carbon dioxide. These improved new reporting requirements place more emphasis on emissions beyond the wellhead. As a result, gas industry leaks from all aspects of the production, transmission, and distribution get reported to GHGRP.
August 21, 2014
Some communities do not even know that mile long 100-car unit trains hauling explosive crude oil pass through their neighborhoods until they hear the rumbling of the tracks. Last summer, one of these trains derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing 47 people. Additional tragedies, including one in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia last April, spotlight the enormous danger posed by what some now call “Bomb Trains”. Driven by the expansion of fracking for oil, especially in North Dakota, these rolling hazardous dangers carrying their climate-warming fossil fuels spilt more flammable crude oil last year than in the previous forty years according to Federal Railroad Administration records.