You would think Utah’s representatives would be outraged by Trump's new regulations that will give control of harmful leaks of methane to the companies making the violations. Methane regulations will be voluntary. HA! That's like making Bill Cosby head of the FDA.
In response to this serious Trump Administration attack on Utah's clean air--nothing but crickets from our Utah DC delegation, the Governor and the Utah Legislature. Where is the heralded, bipartisan Legislative Clean Air Caucus? And, frankly, why is there nothing but silence even from Utah legislative Democrats?
Eastern Utah particularly will suffer. But, the oil and gas industry will churn out more profit as corporate bean-counters will say, “It is cheaper to let this leak into the air than make repairs. Let the methane go.”
Carbon dioxide is the primary culprit in climate change. But methane, the main ingredient found in natural gas, is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Methane is 80 times as effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide (methane stays in the atmosphere for about a decade or two after released).
Utah needs the Feds! No surprise, under Gov. Herbert's 'leadership' over the last 9 years (with Oil and Gas Inc., always among his biggest funders), Utah lags behind neighboring states. Utah should follow the lead of Colorado and (EVEN) Wyoming who have taken serious state steps to address the harmful and wasteful release of methane.
Methane leaks go hand in hand with our processes for extracting, storing and burning natural gas. They’re a big reason that methane accounts for nearly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions. Recently, a study published in the journal Science found that U.S. oil and gas operations are leaking 60% more methane than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had previously calculated: about 13 million tons more each year. Now is not the time to let the corporations police themselves!
The question is not outlawing methane. It is simply requiring that bad players in the gas industry be forced to make a reasonable effort to keep the loop closed as natural gas is collected. Regulations should be there with a stick--just in case bad players need an inducement.
Many (even most) in the oil and gas industry want the current regulations. They understand the consequences of a voluntary program. But President Trump and his buddies in the gas industry want the business 'deregulated'.
Thanks to Jeff Turrentine (On Earth) for some of the info.