Climate Change

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting

Good news! Despite industry opposition, earlier this month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) went ahead and issued a rule that requires the oil and gas industry to join EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program–just like other major polluters. Producers will have to begin measuring their emissions in 2011 and reporting them in 2012.

Life-cycle/Greenhouse Gas impact of Natural Gas:

  • Robert Howarth.  11/12/10:   For those interested in the greenhouse gas footprint, we have posted a summary of our latest findings at–%20November%202010.pdf

Update Jan, 2011–%20Jan%202011%20%282%29.pdf

We conclude that natural gas is no better than coal, and may be far worse than coal, in terms of its footprint when viewed on a 20-year time horizon.

Robert W. Howarth, Ph.D.
David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and
Environmental Biology, Cornell University
  • James Hansen– Dr. Hansen will be speaking at Cornell on April 19, 2010 (see post on Home page) -STORMS OF MY GRANDCHILDREN “Fifth, they are allowing companies to lease land for hydraulic fracturing, an environmentally destructive mining technique to extract every last bit of gas by injecting large amounts of water deep underground to shatter rocks and release trapped gas.” From STORMS OF MY GRANDCHILDREN James Hansen Fall 2009 Chapter 9, “An Honest, Effective Path” pp 184-185 “…..your governments are lying through their teeth. …..the truth is that they know that their planned approach will not come anywhere near achieving the intended global objectives. Moreover, they are now taking actions that, if we do not stop them, will lock in guaranteed failure to achieve the targets that they have nominally accepted. How can we say that about our governments? How can we be so sure? We just have to open our eyes. First, they are allowing construction of new coal-fired plants. Second, they are allowing construction of coal-to-liquids plants that will produce oil from coal. Third, they are allowing development of unconventional fossil fuels such as tar sands. Fourth, they are leasing public lands and remote areas for oil and gas exploration to search for the last drop of hydrocarbons. Fifth, they are allowing companies to lease land for hydraulic fracturing, an environmentally destructive mining technique to extract every last bit of gas by injecting large amounts of water deep underground to shatter rocks and release trapped gas. Sixth, they are allowing highly destructive mountaintop –removal and long-wall coal mining, both of which cause extensive environmental damage for the sake of getting as much coal as possible. In long-wall mining, a giant machine chews out a coal seam underground-subsequent effects include groundwater pollution and subsidence of the terrain, which can damage surface structures. And on and on.”
  • 4,400 Acres Saved From Oil and Gas Hydrofracking
    • In a victory for clean air, safe climate, wilderness, and wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity and allies have stopped a 4,400-acre oil and gas drilling plan on West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. The plan would have trashed a proposed wilderness area, threatened brook trout, and put additional pressure on a nearby population of endangered bats suffering from white-nose syndrome.
      The plan might well have allowed the use of hydrofracking — also known as hydraulic fracturing — which cracks deep underground rocks with high-pressure water pumps, threatening to pollute streams and aquifers.
      Read more in the Charleston Gazette.
  • Hoodwinked  in the Hothouse; False Solutions to Climate Change

  • Operation Noah
  • Center for American Progress. Energy Hub.  Resources for a Clean Energy Economy
  • Beyond Hope
    by Derrick Jensen
    Published in the May/June 2006 issue of Orion magazine
  • THE MOST COMMON WORDS I hear spoken by any environmentalists anywhere are, We’re fucked. Most of these environmentalists are fighting desperately, using whatever tools they have—or rather whatever legal tools they have, which means whatever tools those in power grant them the right to use, which means whatever tools will be ultimately ineffective—to try to protect some piece of ground, to try to stop the manufacture or release of poisons, to try to stop civilized humans from tormenting some group of plants or animals. Sometimes they’re reduced to trying to protect just one tree.
    Here’s how John Osborn, an extraordinary activist and friend, sums up his reasons for doing the work: “As things become increasingly chaotic, I want to make sure some doors remain open. If grizzly bears are still alive in twenty, thirty, and forty years, they may still be alive in fifty. If they’re gone in twenty, they’ll be gone forever.”
    But no matter what environmentalists do, our best efforts are insufficient. We’re losing badly, on every front. Those in power are hell-bent on destroying the planet, and most people don’t care.
    Frankly, I don’t have much hope. But I think that’s a good thing. Hope is what keeps us chained to the system, the conglomerate of people and ideas and ideals that is causing the destruction of the Earth.
  • EPA Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements for Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry    Jan. 2011.


Alternative Energy

  • Columbia Law School : Model Wind Energy Ordinance for Municipalities Drafted by Center for Climate Change Law.
  • Lindsey Grant fracking-lg  Is Fracking and Answer? to What?  by Lindsey Grant

    Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking” in the popular literature; “fracing” in some technical
    journals) is a technique for expanding gas and oil production. It is dramatically raising
    expectations for future gas and oil production, and technological optimists are hailing it as
    the answer to fears of a decline in world fossil energy production. In fact, it is still largely an
    unknown, and we cannot say with any confidence how it will affect the future of fossil energy.
    If indeed it does contribute substantially to world energy supplies – particularly gas – there
    will be profound ramifications, and they are not all benign. If it is simply used to support more
    growth, the new supply will support an unsupportable life style for a little longer and then lead
    to a deeper collapse. If we recognize the limits to growth, perhaps we can use it to ameliorate
    the transition. I shall describe the process briefly, identify some of its strengths and dangers,
    and offer a tentative evaluation of its potential impacts on world issues from climate change to
    food and the future of human populations.

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