California companies that refine gas, make cheese and build satellites may face bigger bills in the state’s underperforming cap-and-trade market very soon. But their counterparts that extract oil from the earth, turn wood into paper or produce fertilizer are in line for a longer cap-and-trade honeymoon. The disparities are laid out in a California Air Resources Board plan to wean industries off the free carbon emission credits they’ve been receiving since the state launched its greenhouse gas market four years ago. (The Sacramento Bee)
California Proposes New Emission Rules For Big Oil And Gas Operations
ThinkProgress | Alejandro Davila Fragoso
California Air air regulators proposed new emission rules for oil and gas operations Thursday, touting massive cuts in greenhouse gases and tougher regulations than federal mandates. Though some exemptions exist for smaller operations, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) rules would make all facilities use emission control systems, increase testing to pinpoint annual methane emissions, and beef up leak detection controls for equipment and underground storage sites. These proposed rules made draft regulations unveiled earlier this year more stringent, as the agency revised a provision that allowed the testing frequency to drop down to once a year if a facility was found in good standing after several tests. The ARB said the rules are more rigorous than Environmental Protection Agency standards, which the federal government updated earlier this year but only apply to new or modified facilities.
Cap-and-trade market could raise pressure on dairies, jet makers and refineries
The Sacramento Bee | Adam Ashton
California companies that refine gas, make cheese and build satellites may face bigger bills in the state’s underperforming cap-and-trade market very soon. But their counterparts that extract oil from the earth, turn wood into paper or produce fertilizer are in line for a longer cap-and-trade honeymoon. The disparities are laid out in a California Air Resources Board plan to wean industries off the free carbon emission credits they’ve been receiving since the state launched its greenhouse gas market four years ago. Those credits help ease companies, and California consumers, into the state’s still-wobbly climate change program.
OPINION & PRESS RELEASE
We need further proof that fracking worsens asthma: Your Say
USA Today | Seth Whitehead
A Johns Hopkins University study garnered a wave of sensational headlines this week by suggesting fracking worsens asthma conditions. The author of the study (who is an adviser of the anti-fracking Post Carbon Institute) admitted that there needs to further investigation to see whether those associations are causal, but that information was buried in the study and not included in the press release, so the news media catered the author’s desires.
Fracking and earthquakes
New Jersey Herald | Bill Weightman
Scientists are now becoming concerned with earthquakes and the drilling for oil and gas off our coasts and to the west of New Jersey with fracking in states like Pennsylvania. Scientists are seeing a correlation with some drilling and earthquakes. Scientists have noted earthquake rates going up in Texas and Oklahoma. According to the magazine Scientific America, scientists see a relation between the injection of wastewater from oil and gas operations into deep underground wells of gas and oil as a cause in the rise of earthquakes in that region.
Fighting Fracking to Save the Land
UTNE | Louise A. Blum
The threat of environmental destruction creates unity among those who believe that their efforts, no matter how small, have the power to create change. As the fracking industry continues to move forward, residents are pushing back to protect their local environment and prevent widespread damage.
3 Big Myths About California’s Climate Policy Perpetuated Upon Lawmakers by Big Oil
Alternet | Simon Mui
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), an oil industry lobbying group representing companies like Chevron, is breaking records with lobbying expenditures as it attempts to block efforts to extend California clean energy and climate programs beyond 2020, according to recent news reports. Now, WSPA and their members are trying to force government officials and lawmakers into a no-win Sophie’s choice: either hobble the state’s low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) or the oil industry will try to kill proposed legislation to establish a statewide limit on carbon pollution for 2030 (Pavley, SB32).
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
DeSmog Blog | Steve Horn
A DeSmog investigation has revealed that two members of the committee chosen by Hillary Clinton work for a consulting, lobbying and investment firm with a financial stake in fracking. Those members — Carol Browner and Wendy Sherman — work for Albright Stonebridge Group. Clinton campaign energy policy adviser Trevor Houser, who introduced a regulate fracking amendment (introduced as a counter to the one calling for a ban) also has industry ties via his fellowship at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
As Major Parties Embrace Fracking, Report Shows Natural Gas ‘Bridge to Climate Disaster’
Common Dreams | Deirdre Fulton
A Bridge Too Far: How Appalachian Basin Gas Pipeline Expansion Will Undermine U.S. Climate Goals (pdf), from Oil Change International (OCI) in partnership with 11 other organizations, “shows that current projections for U.S. natural gas production—fueled by a boom in the Appalachian basin—will lock in enough carbon to bust through agreed climate goals,” according to a press statement from OCI. Echoing arguments made by environmentalist Bill McKibben and others, the report undercuts the specious argument that natural gas is a “bridge” fuel spanning the gap between dirty fossil fuels and clean renewable energy.
Making Fracking Great Again
Bloomberg Gadify | Liam Denning
Two giants of the oilfield services industry, Halliburton and Schlumberger, reported second-quarter results this week and gave their assessment of where the oil and gas industry stands. In different words, both companies said the same thing: The collapse in drilling has stopped, but now we need to get paid.
Obama administration closes offshore drilling sale to public
The Hill | Timothy Cama
The Obama administration is banning environmental activist protesters from an offshore drilling lease sale next month. The auction, scheduled for Aug. 24 in New Orleans, will be webcast, and the public will not be allowed in the venue, a change from the tradition of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and its predecessors. The decision came after a boisterous lease sale in March, in which hundreds of protesters at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome yelled over announcements, stormed the stage and tried unsuccessfully to shut down the event, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
How Big Oil taught Big Tobacco to bend science
Vice News | Matt Smith
Legal researchers have found stacks of documents they say demonstrate that as people started to worry about the toll cigarettes were taking on smokers, the cigarette makers turned to the same playbook the oil companies had written to head off worries about what the carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels were doing to Earth’s atmosphere. That was a surprise to Carroll Muffett, the head of the Center for Environmental Law. It wasn’t news that the two industries had collaborated, but most people had assumed that the strategy had spread the other way—that Big Tobacco had pioneered the plan, and Big Oil had run with it later.
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