Friday, April 4, 2014

You Can Smell the Legislation from Here...

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Every now and then someone (we call him Phil) sends me a link which he knows I won't be able to resist commenting on.
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He knows me too well...
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April 3, 2014, The National Law Review
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White House: Natural Gas, Landfills, and Mining Need to Reduce Methane Emissions
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Continuing its 2014 “pen and phone” strategy emphasizing Executive Branch action, on March 28, 2014, the White House issued its Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. The plan outlines regulatory actions and voluntary plans that various federal agencies plan to undertake before the end of the Obama Administration to try to reduce methane emissions.

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The plan targets the industries that are the largest percentage of domestic methane emissions, namely:  agriculture (36%), natural gas systems (23%), landfills (18%), coal mining (10%), petroleum systems (6%), and wastewater treatment (2%).  While EPA and the Department of Energy propose to reduce emissions from the largest segment, agriculture, through voluntary programs, the plan places a bulls-eye
directly on the natural gas, landfills, and coal mining industries.

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Hmm, the EPA wants to reduce methane emissions from agriculture?  I wonder why that is...
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I'm thinking it's for one of the following theories, or perhaps it's a combination of several of them:
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  1. The EPA needs to tax cow, sheep, horse and chicken expulsions (you can use the word, 'farts' if you like) to raise money to buy cell phones to give to...  The poor.  Unfortunately, cell phones require electricity to operate, so these electronic devices will necessarily use coal, gas, or other fossil fuel energy, AND the production and disposal of the battery packs used to power them will do more to destroy the environment than any unsuspecting cud-chewing Moo cow's 'toots' ever will.
  2. EPA staffers have quietly acquired a majority interest in Purina Foods and are, as I type this, developing 'low methane' output food for livestock.  In this instance, you can chalk up this one to good-old-fashioned 'insider trading', 'crony capitalism', or maybe just, 'greed'.
  3. Michelle Obama has decided that Americans should NOT eat red meat so cutting the supply of wonderfully-tasty-cow-meat via 'Fart Legislation' caps...  Prices will increase exponentially - putting most-everything we actually enjoy eating out of the reach of middle to lower income Americans.  Of course the Poorest among us (who don't pay for their own food) and people working around DC (they do pay for their food, but since we pay THEM, we pay for their food also).  Yeah, these two aforementioned groups will be just fine.  As for the rest of us, there will be plenty of uneaten grass, straw, and hay around to provide TONS of fiber to our diets.  The only problem in this scenario, of course, is that eating this much fiber will cause us to be much more gassy, and it will just be a matter of time before someone puts a sensor in our homes to determine just how 'gassy' we actually are.  Next up, Michelle will be deciding what else they need to cut from our daily diet - for our own good, and that of the Planet.
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Speaking for myself (and given my great affection for loud, stinky bursts of my own gaseous expulsions), I am often reminded of the phrase my Grandfather quoted so often when I was a kid,
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"Wherever you be, let your wind be free..."  
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He was a funny guy.
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There is, however, more to this story than your basic 'stinky hot air'.  And the following section of the article will NOT make environmental folks happy at all.  
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It is found under the header entitled, Natural Gas Industry, and it reads as follows...
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According to the plan, the various segments of the natural gas industry are responsible for methane emissions are as follows:

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The recently issued NSPS OOOO, which regulates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from hydraulically fractured wells, did not directly regulate methane but instead listed methane reductions as a co-benefit.  The White House acknowledges that this rule will significantly reduce emissions when fully implemented in 2015, but now EPA plans to issue a series of white papers in the spring of 2014 to solicit input regarding potentially significant sources of methane in the natural gas industry. 

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... 
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 The plan acknowledges efforts within the natural gas distribution sector to gather more information to improve the data available regarding methane emissions; however, no mention is made of important collaborative studies in the onshore production industry such as the recent project conducted by the University of Texas, Environmental Defense Fund, Anadarko, BG Group, Chevron, Encana, Pioneer, Shell, Southwestern Energy, Talisman Energy and XTO Energy.   
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This particular study concluded that actual methane emissions from well completions are 97% lower than calendar year 2011 national emission estimates because the majority of hydraulically fractured wells had equipment in place to reduce methane emissions.  Whether these results will factor into EPA’s decision-making regarding further methane regulation is unclear.
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To sum up in a single sentence, this, according to the author of the article means that,
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Hydraulic fracturing reduces Methane emissions by 97% over traditional natural gas extraction methods...

Bottom line:  Leave the cows alone and use hydraulic fracturing to make the U.S. energy independent for the next several hundred years.  

And if we're REALLY concerned about the Earth, why don't we punish the people who keep eating Nature's plants which breathe in Carbon Dioxide and breathe out wonderful, wonderful Oxygen?

You want to save the Earth?  Do you really?  

Stick some pipe in the ground, pump out some Natural Gas and then grab yourself a nice ham and Swiss on rye (bacon optional, but a lovely addition to most any meal).




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