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Energy Tomorrow Blog

The Facts on Methane and Fracking

hydraulic fracturing  fracking  natural gas benefits  emission reductions  methane  epa  greenhouse gases 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 23, 2014

Environmental groups want more regulation targeting methane emissions from oil and natural gas production. While this is what environmental groups often do, the new methane alarm is especially curious given the fact situation.

This is reflected in the dramatic decline in emissions of methane (CH4) from 2006 to 2012, according to EPA’s Inventory of Greenhouse Gases  – 39.4 percent to be exact. This occurred while natural gas production was growing 37 percent during the same time period, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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America’s Shale Energy Opportunities Continue to Grow

american energy  fracking  jobs  Economy  lng exports  emssions  methane 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted September 11, 2014

Oil & Gas Journal: The US Department of Energy approved Cameron Energy LLC and Carib Energy LLC’s requests for authorization to export LNG to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US. Both applicants had completed reviews required under the National Environmental Policy Act, DOE said.

It gave the Cameron facility in Cameron Parish, La., permission to export LNG up to an equivalent of 1.7 bcfd of gas for 20 years. Carib Energy, a Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary, received approval to export up to an equivalent 0.04 bcfd for 20 years from its proposed Martin County, Fla., facility in International Standardization Organization approved containers, DOE said on Sept. 10.

The decision marked the last regulatory hurdle for the Cameron LNG facility and cleared the way for execution of the largest capital project in the history of its sponsor, San Diego-based Sempra Energy, Sempra Chair Debra L. Reed said.

“This landmark project will create thousands of jobs and economic benefits for Louisiana and the US for decades to come, while delivering natural gas to America's trading partners in Europe and Asia,” she said.

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About What the President Said …

oil and natural gas development  safe operations  hydraulic fracturing  methane emissions  access  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 10, 2014

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s Sunday piece highlighted a conversation he had a few weeks ago with President Obama, during which the president talked about energy and climate change. A few things stand out:

Realistic Policy

The president signaled that climate policy should consider the real-world roles that are being played by various energy sources, saying:

“… we’re not going to suddenly turn off a switch and suddenly we’re no longer using fossil fuels, but we have to use this time wisely, so that you have a tapering off of fossil fuels replaced by clean energy sources that are not releasing carbon.”

Sounds reasonable, given the forecast of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook – that fossil fuels’ share of total U.S. energy use will be 80 percent in 2040, down only slightly from where it was in 2012 (82 percent). Oil and natural gas, which supplied 63 percent of the energy we used in 2012, are projected to supply 61 percent in 2040. Oil and natural gas are America’s energy today and tomorrow. 

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Innovation and Methane Emissions

methane emissions  innovation  technology  hydraulic fracturing  epa ghg regulations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 3, 2014

A competitive marketplace is the sowing field for innovation and investment. Look no further than the advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that launched America’s ongoing shale energy revolution. Shale development features cutting-edge technology to increase output and efficiency and to make operations as safe and clean as possible. An example of this can be found in methane emissions.

While some call for government-directed efforts to reduce emissions, industry already is on this – through its own leadership and investments – and is achieving good results. 

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Technology, Infrastructure Key to Developing America's Energy Resources

keystone xl  methane  hydraulic fracturing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 17, 2013

Containment Measures Mean Lower Methane Leaks from Fracking Than Previously Thought

New York Times: Drilling for shale gas through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, appears to cause smaller leaks of the greenhouse gas methane than the federal government had estimated, and considerably smaller than some critics of shale gas had feared, according to a peer-reviewed study released on Monday.

The study, conducted by the University of Texas and sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and nine petroleum companies, bolsters the contention by advocates of fracking — and some environmental groups as well — that shale gas is cleaner and better than coal, at least until more renewable-energy sources are developed. More than 500 wells were analyzed.

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Study: Natural Gas Drilling Emits Less Methane Than Previously Estimated

epa  methane emissions  hydraulic fracturing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 17, 2013

A new, comprehensive study by the University of Texas showing methane emissions from natural gas drilling are a fraction of estimates from just a few years ago vouches for industry efforts to reduce methane emissions, suggests existing regulation is working and that an additional regulatory layer isn’t needed.

The UT study, sponsored by a group of interests that includes the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and a number of natural gas producers, examined 150 production sites across the U.S. with 489 wells, 27 well completion flowbacks, nine well unloadings and four well workovers. 

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Shale Gas Emissions Study: Garbage In, Garbage Out

coal  fracking  greenhouse gas emissions  hydraulic fracturing  hydrofracking  methane  rhetoric vs reality  carbon dioxide emissions  carbon emissions  co2  eid  energy in depth  methane emissions  natural gas pipelines 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 13, 2011

Calling it "an annual rite of spring," Energy In Depth (EID) debunks the latest Cornell "study" on emissions from shale gas development. Although the study got the attention of The New York Times and other major publications, EID points out on its blog that this isn't the first time that Cornell University Professor Robert Howarth has issued studies or abstracts alleging that shale gas production, especially the process of hydraulic fracturing, emits more methane than previously thought. His goal: casting a pall on the environmental benefits of using clean-burning natural gas. 

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Don't Rush to Judgment on Fracking

domestic energy  environmental protection agency  epa  fracking  gas wells  hydraulic fracturing  methane  natural gas drilling well  range resources 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 29, 2010

The presumption of innocence is one of the founding principles of the U.S. justice system. Simply put, anyone accused of a crime in the United States is presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

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Message to EPA: Haste Makes Waste

carbon dioxide  co2  energy policy  environmental protection agency  epa  ghg  greenhouse gas  greenhouse gas emissions  methane  oil and natural gas  over regulation  waxman-markey 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 26, 2010

The staff at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a whip snapping at its heels. For more than a decade now, the agency has been developing and refining its methodology for a "top down" inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States based on macroeconomic information. With that, the agency's career professionals have been rushing for the past two years to establish a "bottoms up" process for inventorying GHGs, including carbon dioxide and methane, and have ordered large and small facilities all over the country to collect emissions data and file reports. 

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