Climate Change

Methane, a clear and present danger

The rich oil and gas industry is willing to damage the Earth and put natural life at risk, if its activity puts money into corporate accounts. Captured governments cooperate by establishing oversight that is non-existent or ineffective, and by extending subsidies worth hundreds of billions of dollars to encourage greater fossil fuel production.

Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) researchers detected methane at about 40% of oil and gas well sites surveyed in the southwestern Permian Basin. This is America’s largest oilfield and its most important producers are ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Pioneer Natural Resources.

EDF’s Permian Methane Analysis Project combines data collection with state-of-the-art technologies to identify and quantify methane emissions. EDF explains why this carbon and hydrogen compound is dangerous:

Natural Gas is made of methane. Human-caused sources of methane, a potent climate pollutant, are responsible for at least 25% of the warming we feel today. Methane is often emitted with other harmful chemicals that increase air pollution and cause health problems. But because methane is colorless and odorless, it often goes undetected.

recent report from the International Energy Agency says global oil and gas methane emissions may rise despite the dip in oil and gas demand, as both producers and regulators scale back staffing and oversight – leaving more leaks unnoticed and unrepaired.

Climate experts say methane is a “live-fast, die-young greenhouse gas.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report from 2013 says methane heats the climate by 28 times more than carbon dioxide when averaged over 100 years and 84 times more when averaged over 20 years.

Environmental Defence Canada says Canada has a serious methane problem and British Columbia has been too little interested in solving that problem within its provincial borders.

Even with the unnatural disasters of 2021, BC NDP refuses to acknowledge the province’s fossil fuel production as a contributor to climate change. The BC government and opposition Liberals remain committed to subsidy and tax relief programs established to guarantee increased output of hydrocarbons.

In British Columbia, we are living in a burning house. Instead of working to extinguish the flames, political and economic leaders are happily adding fuel to the fire and forcing residents to pay the resulting costs.

Categories: Climate Change

3 replies »

  1. greetings norm

    attached is a link to PRPeak article on mill closure and sale to renewable hydrogen canada, not sure what it means, if anything beyond a fantasy of a local politician. however it may have potential as an additive to greenwash natural gas and extend its use as a ‘clean fossil fuel’. naomi oreskes writes a bit about this in nation obsever. both linked below. do you have any views on these issues. best wishes and solidarity with your work. -df



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