The huge methane cloud hovering over the country’s Four Corners region, according to NASA, has been tied to national gas operations in that region.
— EARTHWORKS (@Earthworks) August 19, 2016
At least it isn’t in Oklahoma, right? Well, oil and gas operators here are also grappling with new federal initiatives dealing with methane emissions, which is a greenhouse gas even more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide.
The Four Corners region is where the states Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. A NASA-led study, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed a cloud of methane the size of the state of Delaware hovering over the region. The cloud mainly consists of methane from oil and gas emissions and leaks.
One report on the development stated:
Methane is a key component of natural gas. The hot spot is not a local safety or health issue, but methane does contribute to global warming. Methane is 86 times more potent for trapping heat in the short-term than carbon dioxide.
The point here is obvious: Oil and gas operations and storage are a dirty business that need more, not less, regulation in terms of protecting the environment. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is endangering the entire planet because of the acceleration of global warming.
Another report on the Four Corners issue tied the methane cloud directly to fracking:
[The study] found that leaks from only 10 percent of the individual methane sources are contributing to half of the emissions, confirming the scientists’ suspicions that the mysterious hotspot was connected to the high level of fracking in the region.
Back on July 3, I posted about videos shot with infrared technology released by Earthworks that showed emissions from oil and gas operations in Oklahoma. The organization argues these emissions pose major health risks to people who live near such operations. The videos make a forceful point. Be sure to click on the link above.
”vDrill, baby, drill” and “American energy independence” are conservative slogans that have driven massive oil and gas pollution across this country, and Oklahoma is no exception. The sloganeering has also led a massive number of earthquakes here in the state as well because of injection wells used in the fracking process.
Our country is destroying the planet through methane and carbon emissions that accelerate the greenhouse effect and increase manmade global warming. The evidence is all around us, from rising sea levels that shrink coastlines through repeated catastrophic weather events, such as the recent flooding in Louisiana.
But conservative politicians, such as U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, dismiss the years of accumulated evidence of climate change reviewed consistently by scientists, who issue warning after warning to no avail. Most conservative politicians in this country intentionally confuse people in order to appease oil and gas interests.
— Scott Pruitt (@AGScottPruitt) August 5, 2016
The planet is getting warmer and unless the warming can be reversed we’re heading for massive population displacement from coastal areas, food shortages because of extreme weather conditions and even more catastrophic weather events. The science is clear, but people keep electing politicians who are sentencing us and our children and grandchildren to a precarious, limited future at the least and to our ultimate doom at the worst.
The long-term solution, as I’ve argued in this space for years, is to drastically increase renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and develop major transportation systems that rely on these types of power. We need more electric cars, and buses and high-speed trains. We need a different transportation model in this country, and it CAN be done.
The methane cloud over the Four Corners region is another sign of how humans are destroying the planet, and we’re all to blame.