Big Oil just Got a Free Pass on reporting lethal Fracking Methane
adapted from BRIEFLY with thanks The Trump controlled Environment Protection Agency,EPA, thumbed its nose at another Obama-era environmental rule, withdrawing a request that operators of oil and gas sites submit information on methane emissions.
Cancelling crucial methane control is a blatant crime against humanity and the planet perpetrated to feed the naked greed of US billionaire capitalists,. It is also an insult to the thousands of scientists and environmentalists and public who have dedicated years to getting this key step in climate control.
”Satellite data demonstrates fugitive emissions that are an order of magnitude greater during the extraction and storage phase than with non fracked natural gas, with average losses, including distribution representing 6-8% of production. The figure of 6% makes shale gas two times worse than coal from a climate change perspective”.
The long overdue request to log the scandalously uncontrolled methane emissions, just a few months old, was designed to supplement the Obama administration’s effort to curb the powerful pollutant, though only at new and modified oil and gas sites (methane is a greenhouse gas 84 times as potent as carbon dioxide).
President Obama had committed to cut as much as 45 percent of methane emissions from 2012 levels by 2025. Those cuts would have helped the United States meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement.
From the start the USA, due to massive legalised bribery from industry, has been criminally irresponsible about disposal, and incredibly the fracking industry was granted complete exemptions from the Clean Water and crucially the Clean Air Act, starting with the Bush administration, the so-called Cheney loop-hole. Now the glut of cheap frack gas ( though more expensive than Russian gas) is is labelled as being ”green”, being converted to LNG and force-sold to reluctant allies in Europe and elsewhere.
This lack of control and state promotion allows fracking companies in the US to produce shale gas and oil well below the true cost, destroying the health of local people with no chance of compensation and boosting climate overheating, probably irreversibly, above crucial tipping points.
Methane is the main component of natural gas. And we all know how the new EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, feels about that, based on his copious emails with the energy industry. The EPA’s move came a day after attorneys general of 11 states, including Texas and Montana, sent a letter to the agency asking for the request to disappear.
And, of course, the Trump administration isn’t exactly keen on fulfilling the previous administration’s pledges under the Paris climate agreement.
Next up, Republicans are eyeing a Bureau of Land Management rule regulating methane emissions on federal lands.
The suppression of methane control in the US Fracking industry removes any argument that the already begun exports of frack gas to Europe and elsewhere as LNG from Sabine Pass, (the 1st of 3 massive US LNG terminals), are somehow ‘less bad’ than burning coal or oil. Though US frack gas as LNG is more expensive political ”leverage” and anti Russian scare mongering have been used to secure contracts with Spain, Argentina, the UK, etc.
Fracking hell? Photo series follows families who say their lives and communities have been destroyed by the industry
Hydraulic-fracturing – or fracking – has drawn criticism from environmental groups who worry about the impact it is having on the the planet. One of the big concerns is the risk of potentially contaminating ground water in locations near fracking sites.
Fracking the Marcellus Formation has changed the landscape of the rural towns where it occurs and has profound effects on the residents of these towns.
The Marcellus Shale Documentary project documents offers a stunning look at how these fracking operations have impacted the communities, and offer a glimpse of how they have changed communities for better and worse.
View of a Chevron gas drilling rig in Franklin Township, Pa. on May 1, 2012. Wells are being drilled across the state of Pennsylvania to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation that extends throughout much of the Appalachian Basin. Gas companies are using a technique known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” which involves pumping fluid into wells at high pressure in order to fracture the rock formation and release the gas.
To transport the gas and oil dozens of new pipelines are being rammed through, with similar lack of consultation or legality, as seen for example in the DAPL line at Standing Rock.
Dana Dolney, a breast cancer survivor, protests against gas drilling and the technique of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) outside Pennsylvania’s Department of Enviornmental Protection (DEP) office where the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission was holding a meeting.
Jodie Simons shows the contaminated water that comes out of her kitchen faucet. The family has lived since 2010 without well water to drink or bathe in. Shortly after a second well was drilled and fracked near their property, Jodie’s daughter became sick with nausea and headaches. When she stopped drinking the tap water, the symptoms stopped. Their animals died after a first well was drilled.
John “Denny” Fair, 58, was among several residents who lost their water supply when gas driller Rex Energy ended water shipments to several families in Connoquenessing Township, Butler County. Workers hauled away two tanks from his backyard that supplied water to three homes. Fair is in the middle helping workers remove his only supply of potable water – he just wanted to get the removal process over with.
View of a natural gas pipeline construction site along Valley Chapel Road in East Finley, Pa. on Jan. 24, 2012.
Carol Jean “Jeannie” Moton poses for a portrait at her home in Avella, Pa on April 29, 2012. Moton says she has had health problems including skin lesions and rashes, hot flashes and bone pain since the first Marcellus Shale well was drilled near her home in 2006. She says several of her neighbors, including her mother, have become ill. She suspects that contaminated water contributed to the recent death of her father as well as the death of her dog and her neighbor’s dog. “This is not a safe practice”, she said, “I’ve been through hell.”
Bob Miller. The Millers leased their land for gas drilling and have made enough from the arrangement to enable them to keep their Meadow Creek Farm running. They reported no ill effects from the drilling at the time of writing, although relations with their neighbors had deteriorated significantly. The lease was later purchased by Chevron. May 30, 2012.
Williams’ Rial gas well pad in construction. Donegal, Pa., Nov. 17, 2011.
After workers hauled away two water tanks that had supplied three homes from his backyard, John “Denny” Fair went inside his small home and became teary-eyed. When Fair re-connected his water well, for which the tanks had provided an alternate supply, it pumped out orange-brown water that he and the neighbors don’t want to use. Fair said the water turned brown and “stinky| shortly after the fracking started.
Barbara Clifford’s family has lived on this farm for four generations. Now it is threatened by the industrialization of the entire area. Drilling rigs and compressor stations dot the landscape here in Montrose, Pa. threatening the family’s dream of an organic farm and idyllic rural lifestyle.
Lobbyist and activist?on the sidelines at a protest in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania state capital.
Methane flaring from gas drilling wells in Northeast Pennsylvania
Janet McIntyre delivers water to the Romito family in The Woodlands. The Romitos are not able to use their well water, and have fallen into ill health. Their dog had to be put down due to a carcinoma on its nose. May 1, 2012.