U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez deserved the criticism she took after the February 2019 rollout of her Green New Deal included an FAQ that referenced “farting cows”.
Explaining why the plan’s 10-year goal was to get to “net-zero, rather than zero emissions”, the FAQ noted, probably in an attempt at humor, that “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast…”
The statement was a gift to conservatives and AOC’s political opponents who wanted nothing more than to paint the Green New Deal as the half-baked concoction of some far-left radicals.
The right leveraged “farting cows” to spin the Green New Deal into a punchline and sow fear that the left had it in for the agricultural and transportation industries. For her part, Ocasio-Cortez got more subsequent attention for containing the flatulent fallout than she did for espousing the Green New Deal’s smart and worth-considering proposals.
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Who knew collaboration could result in, well, results? According to a Carlsbad Current-Argus story in the Journal last month, New Mexico’s Methane Advisory Panel – led by state officials but including members whose backgrounds range from the Chevron Corporation to the Sierra Club – has recently put forth a report outlining a number of proposals to help curb methane emissions generated by the energy industry. By all appearances, the diverse group of stakeholders did its best to take a long, hard, honest look at what can be – and what needs to be – done.
Recently, a group called Texans for Natural Gas took the city of Houston to task for not including its namesake fuel in a proposed climate action plan. ‘No climate plan for Houston can be considered legitimate unless it utilizes an abundant, clean burning, and Texas made fuel like natural gas,’ the group’s online petition reads. It’s true that when used to fuel power plants, gas produces about half the carbon dioxide than coal, which is why using it as a bridge to transition more fully to renewable energy sources makes sense. Texas has enjoyed a boom in the production of natural gas thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal-drilling technologies. But natural gas has an Achilles’ heel that must be addressed if the industry wants to be considered a viable part of any climate change strategy: methane emissions.
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S Environmental Protection Agency moved Thursday to lift limits on potent greenhouse gas emissions from the drilling and transportation of natural gas, a major fuel source for electric power plants, heating systems and industrial processes. Not only would this be bad for the environment, but also it might well do more harm than good for the fossil-fuel industry.
As Europe bakes, wildfires burn in the Arctic Circle and July is shaping up as Earth’s hottest month since record-keeping began in 1880, Americans are becoming more keenly aware of global warming. They increasingly recognize the need to reduce burning fossil fuels that generate heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
Wind and solar are now the fastest growing sources of electricity. Scores of cities, counties and states are setting clean energy goals. Electric car sales are inching higher. Green upstarts are working to capture methane as a renewable fuel from livestock manure and food waste, rather than let it slip into atmosphere.
It might come as a shock that amid this growing sense of planet accountability, oil companies are still allowed to pull billions of cubic feet of natural gas from the ground and simply set it on fire.
“We can pinpoint emissions down to 20 feet or so from the source to actually see where the leak is coming from. It will be the largest comprehensive survey of methane leaks in an oil field ever done.”
– Kairos co-founder and CEO Steve Deiker
New Mexico has been relying on a 2014 NASA snapshot of the Four Corners when it comes to the issue of methane emissions. And while NASA identified oil and gas field venting, flaring and leaks as the source in 2016, there are those who have blamed natural seeps from underground formations and coal mining operations, as well as bovine burps at the many dairies across the state.
When it comes to methane, New Mexico is both first and last.
We have the highest concentration of atmospheric methane in the nation — a “hotspot” the size of Delaware over the San Juan Basin, as shown by NASA imagery. And we have the least amount of regulation controlling methane emissions, according to a new study from The Wilderness Society and Taxpayers for Common Sense.
It’s time to clear the air. A new health report has uncovered hazy facts about pollution in Pennsylvania and across the country.
The report, Face to Face with Oil and Gas: Voices from the Front Lines of Oil and Gas Pollution , conducted released by the Moms Clean Air Force, details alarming facts about the impacts of oil and gas pollution across the country.
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is planning to weaken requirements about how energy companies monitor and repair methane leaks.
This latest proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency is part of a concerted effort by the administration to dismantle reasonable regulations that protect the environment and the people who depend upon it for their health and well-being (in other words, all of us).