Obama & EPA Target Methane Next in Climate Cleanup Effort

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Obama & EPA Target Methane Next in Climate Cleanup Effort

by RP Siegel

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President Obama & EPA Target #Methane Next in Climate Cleanup Effort http://bit.ly/1K9cCNy via @Justmeans @RPSiegel #energy
Friday, August 21, 2015 - 4:00pm

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There was more big news on the environmental front this week, as the Obama administration announced the EPA’s new rules that regulate methane emissions from oil and gas production.

This is part of the administration’s overall plan to tighten up all sources of greenhouse gas emissions. While methane, which is the principal components of natural gas, is emitted in much smaller quantities than carbon dioxide, its heat-trapping capability is considerably higher than CO2. As Justmeans contributor Antonio Pasolini pointed out in this recent piece, the nature of methane’s impact is still being understood, but recent estimates now claim that the impact is 34 times that of CO2, considerably higher than the assumption that was used up until recently, that it was 23 times greater. Comparisons are difficult because methane is both less dense and more efficient at trapping heat than carbon. What is perhaps most important is the fact the methane, unlike carbon dioxide is short acting. It has a potent impact, but only stays in the atmosphere for about 12 years, as opposed to hundreds or even thousands for carbon dioxide.

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Image credit: Gerry Dincher: Flickr Creative Commons

Keywords: Energy | EPA | Heartland Institute | Janet McCabe | Jay Lehr | Justmeans | Margo Oge | methane | methane hydrates | permafrost | positive feedback loop

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