Common Sense Methods to Reduce Natural Gas Emissions

by Duane Nichols on November 23, 2014

Pipeline pressures up to about 1200 pounds per square inch are common

How Oil & Gas Industry Could Cut Methane Pollution in Half

From an Article by Cole Mellino,, November 20, 2014

Leading environmental groups—Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, and Clean Air Task Force—released a summary report today to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laying out how the agency can cut methane pollution in half with low-cost technologies and practices. The report, Waste Not: Common Sense Measures to Reduce Methane Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry, shows how the U.S. EPA must meet its obligations under the Clean Air Act by requiring the oil and gas industries to halt methane emissions. The full report will be available later this fall.

One of the simple solutions highlighted in the report shows that “most of the industry’s methane pollution comes from leaks and intentional venting that can be identified and curbed with existing, low-cost technology and better maintenance practices.” Mark Brownstein, associate vice president for U.S. Climate and Energy at the Environmental Defense Fund, agrees. “Methane leaks are simply a waste of a valuable national energy resource. The good news is that there are simple technologies and practices that the oil industry can use to substantially reduce this waste, creating new opportunities for American companies and new jobs for American workers.”

The big takeaway from this report is that these standards would cut up to 10 times more methane and up to four times more smog-forming pollutants than other proposals because these standards would apply to oil and gas infrastructure across the country, not just to equipment located in certain areas.

Why care about methane when there is so much carbon dioxide in our atmosphere? Because “methane warms the climate at least 80 times more than an equal amount of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period … its impact on the climate [is] huge. About 25 percent of the warming we are experiencing today is attributable to methane emissions. Taking steps to address methane, in addition to carbon pollution, is critical to combating climate change,” said Earthjusticeattorney Tim Ballo.

Deb Nardone, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas campaign, believes the best thing for the climate would be to keep all dirty fossil fuels in the ground because “fracking threatens to transform our most beautiful wild places, our communities and our backyards into dirty fuel industrial sites, so in the short term the EPA must work quickly to control methane from existing fracking operations, close the exemptions that allow the oil and gas industries to benefit at the cost of our health, prevent future leasing of our public lands and advance truly clean energy like wind, solar and energy efficiency.”

NOTE: A Marcellus gas well flare has been burning for about a week near Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania.  It lights up the night sky. But, flares do not achieve complete combustion of the natural gases so there is air pollution in addition to the carbon dioxide produced. This is in Greene County, just north of the Mason Dixon Line, between Morgantown, WV and Waynesburg, PA off I-79.  P.S. Another big problem is the diesel emissions from all the trucks and heavy equipment, known to be extremely dangerous to the workers and residents near to drilling operations.  DGN


Truth and Consequences — Fracking is Real(ly Bad)

by S. Tom Bond on November 22, 2014

Commentary — Two Kinds of Truth for Your Consideration

Truth is elusive with consequences

Written by S. Tom Bond, Retired Chemistry Professor & Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV

Observers have been amazed with the division of attitudes toward modern high volume, horizontal, hydraulic fracturing which has come into use since the year 2000. It is as though one party says something is yellow and another, looking at the same thing, says it is blue. The obvious answer is, “Who is making money from it and who is paying a price?” That goes for people actually in contact with it, but what about the millions who form opinions in spite of no contact?

I think that is related to two kinds of truth, which I hope to distinguish. What is needed is to sort out a general idea, truth, and how one arrives at “truth.”

As the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says, “Truth is one of the central subjects in philosophy. It is also one of the largest.” So I must define truth to begin with: Truth is a belief which serves as a basis for individual action. If you believe something, that is your mental map of what is. Truth is one’s understanding of the real world, the guide for ones action.

Most works on philosophy include several definitions of truth. Almost all of them have one which has to do with verifiability. That means the ability to check, item by item, the contents of the verbal map of reality. Lets call this verifiable truth.

A second kind of guide for action is to respond to authority. If you believe some authority, it is a kind of truth. This may be a King, a religious leader, or simply “the boss,” who in our era (and many others), is whoever controls pay for your labor. This we will call authoritarian truth. Such a believer’s action is determined by a mental map provided by the authority.

What does this have to do with the understanding of the nature of fracking? A lot, really.

Concerning fracking the general public (including officials) must choose between the claims of the banks and the drilling companies on the one hand , and the cries from the injured on the other. The individual who is not directly affected, and cannot see what is going on, must choose what to believe.

Those in the field can see what is happening. People are hurting, and loosing what is theirs. For some who gain even a slight advantage it is easy to ignore another’s pain. That is also a human attribute. It makes possible wars, racism and genocide. It also makes it possible for some to be rich while others are poor. Those who aren’t seriously affected can adopt the authoritarian truth as a psychological defense.

One of the principal characteristics of authoritarian truth is that it is not constrained by verifiability. It offers an explanation, and suggests a course to follow for the believer’s advantage. It causes an expected reward for action. It may, and often does, involve deception about verifiability, however. Left out details don’t exist for the authoritarian believer. It is received truth.

Verifiable truth comes from direct sensory experience of the phenomenon, or from observers judged by the individual to be reliable. Who is reliable? Direct observers who don’t have an advantage by being untruthful and are able to understand what effects them. Simultaneous changes are a strong key to understanding.

If one thinks rural people are willing to lie about what affects them, or are too dumb to understand, or are people whose interests aren’t a significant part of the commonwealth, the economic whole of our state and nation, you might adopt such a view. You might be more willing to adopt a story put out by some authority.

In a situation where people need to act, people who are not where they can observe facts themselves, perhaps by voting or by buying, it becomes a considerable labor to decide what action they should take – in other words who to believe. We humans have a long history of cooperation with each other. Frequently it has been the best path to simply follow some leader, rather than to try to go it alone or join a minority. Most of our past has involved a choice between leaders without reference to verifiability of claims, or perhaps no choice between leaders at all; the choice is simply the degree or enthusiasm with which we follow some designated leader of our group. Consequently, we humans have developed no easy way to distinguish which kind of truth one is following. It is a labor and a learned skill not necessary for survival of the human race.

Because of this bit of human nature, those who can form belief on the basis of our own observation, and the observation of people we trust because we understand them, must aggressively present the story of what is going on to the wider public, who invest, who vote, and who regulate the world we live in.

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing it, doesn’t go away.”


Fact to fiction — A twisted tale of how good research became bad information

By Elizabeth Miller, Boulder Weekly, November 20, 2014

The philosophy that University of Colorado research associate E. Michael Thurman applies to scientific research, he says, is: “You can sort the error from the truth if you work hard enough.” This week, that task became far more difficult as Thurman and his research associates came under fire for apparently declaring the fluid used in hydraulic fracturing operations to be harmless.

But it wasn’t true. The researchers never said anything like that, nor did they intend to. Like the children’s game of telephone, as word spread from one mouth to the next, the truth got so mired in errors it was nearly invisible by the end.

So how did a study designed to analyze traceable components of fracking fluid so potential contamination in groundwater could be identified get transformed into a headline that declared fracking fluid safe? The answer is poor communication and bad journalism.

…… the details are in the Article on hydraulic fracturing ……


MARE Project — Information for Land Owners on Interstate Pipelines

November 21, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Responsible Energy Project (MARE) Information Source: Several natural gas pipelines are being proposed for our region. Most of these pipelines are expected to be 36-inches to 42-inches in diameter. As an example, the Mountain Valley Pipeline will require 75 feet of permanent easement and an additional 50 feet of temporary easement during the construction. [...]

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PETITION to WV Governor & WV-DEP – “No Drilling Under the Ohio River”

November 20, 2014

PETITION — “No Drilling Under the Ohio River” Petition by Robin Mahonen, Ohio County, WV The Wheeling Water Warriors and multiple other concerned groups call on you to stop plans to drill under the Ohio River. The Ohio River provides drinking water to over 3 million people, and 10% of the population of the United [...]

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Seneca Lake Struggle On-Going in NY Finger Lakes

November 19, 2014

Pledge to Protect Seneca Lake – “We Are Seneca Lake” UPDATE: This cold morning, Wednesday, Nov. 19, we are having an extremely successful blockade. Now in their fifth hour today, 12 Seneca Lake Defenders are continuing our blockade of Crestwood. 7 are at the north gate, 5 at the south gate.  Yesterday, Tuesday, there were [...]

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Pipelines Are Dangerous — Here is the Evidence

November 18, 2014

Senate defeats Keystone XL pipeline From an Article by Susan Davis, USA Today, November 18 Washington, DC — The U.S. Senate defeated a bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, delivering a blow to Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., by members of her own party. “I came here 18 years ago fighting to [...]

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Natural Gas Booming & Coal Mining Busting in WV

November 17, 2014

Editorial Title:  “Marcellus Boom” Charleston WV Gazette Newspaper Editorial, Sunday, November 16, 2014 Last week — on the same day that Alpha Natural Resources announced closure of another southern West Virginia coal mine and the loss of 36 more miner jobs — news reports said a Texas gas firm will pay $100 million in up-front [...]

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Residents Very Concerned about Fayette County Injection Well

November 16, 2014

Lochgelly Frack Waste Injection Well Site Worries Residents in the Fayette Plateau From Keely Kernan, Into the Hills & Hollows, September 10, 2014 Below are images from a short film about an injection well site that is owned and operated by Danny Webb Construction, located in Lochgelly, WV. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection [...]

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“Resolution to Ban Extreme Extraction” by WV Mountain Party

November 15, 2014

WV Mountain Party:  “Resolution to Ban Extreme Extraction” From Tom Rhule, Mountain Party of WV, October 26, 2014 On September 30, 2014, a quorum of the State Executive Council for the Mountain Party of West Virginia passed the following Resolution to ban extreme extraction by unanimous vote*: WHEREAS in the wake of the West Virginia American [...]

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Blast and Fire at Blue Racer Processing Plant in Ohio Valley Kills Worker

November 14, 2014

Blast At Pump Kills Va. Worker  — Blue Racer facility near Caldwell in Ohio erupts in fire Wednesday From an Article by Casey Junkins, Wheeling Intelligencer, November 14, 2014 CALDWELL, OHIO – A Wednesday evening blast and resulting fire at a Blue Racer Midstream natural gas processing station near Caldwell in Noble County in Ohio [...]

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