Methane is increasing dramatically in the atmosphere

Methane and Other Hydrocarbons are Leaking Big Time into the Atmosphere

From the CLEAN AIR COUNCIL on June 22, 2019

Dear Friends of the Earth’s Environment:

Senator Bob Casey has opposed the Trump Administration’s dangerous proposed modification to standards that reduce methane pollution from oil and gas operations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), led by fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, is about to propose the complete elimination of methane controls from these standards.

Senator Casey and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet wrote to EPA in December, “As the Senators from two states with robust standards to reduce methane emissions, we are concerned that more children will breathe harmful air pollution as a result of the rollbacks you are recommending.

In addition, our states may have to impose additional measures in order to adhere to EPA’s ozone standards due to methane pollution coming into Colorado and Pennsylvania from other states without similar methane standards.”

Please ask your U.S. Representative to join Senator Casey in this effort to preserve strong methane leakage standards before the Trump Administration publishes its proposed rulemaking.

Methane leaks occur at every step along the oil and gas supply chain.

When methane leaks, it is accompanied by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which include known carcinogens and also contribute to ground-level ozone (the main constituent of smog).

Routine, comprehensive inspections are key to detecting and reducing harmful emissions.

Methane is the main component of natural gas and is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming our planet over a twenty-year timeline.

Scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in their latest report that the world only has 11 years to cut greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, by 45% to avoid catastrophic climate change.

We thank Senator Bob Casey for working to improve air quality and ask your U.S. Representative to do the same.

Sincerely, Joseph Otis Minott, Esq.
Executive Director and Chief Counsel
Clean Air Council, Philadelphia, PA


See Also: The Natural Gas Industry Has a Methane Problem | NRDC, June 7, 2019

Oil and gas operations leak this potent greenhouse gas far more than previously thought, and (par for the course) the Trump administration is making the situation worse.


Refinery fire in Philly on Friday, June 21, 2019

What the ‘Fossil Fuel Economy Looks Like’: Demands for Climate Justice After Explosion Rocks Philly Oil Refinery

From an Article by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, June 21, 2019

Climate advocates reiterated their calls to ditch the fossil fuel economy on Friday following an explosion at an oil refinery complex in Philadelphia that sent a fireball into the sky.

“The largest blast was so strong,” reported local NBC10, “that the GOES-16 meterological satellite recorded it from space.”

Per Reuters: “It was the worst I’ve ever experienced,” said a veteran refinery worker who was at the plant when the fire broke out. “It looked like a nuclear bomb went off. I thought we were all going to die.”

The flames erupted at roughly 4am at Philadelphia Energy Solutions’s (PES) refinery complex, which triggered a temporary shelter-in-place order.

Philadelphia Fire Department Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy, speaking to the press at about 7am, said that a vat of butane had caught fire, though the company later said that it was “mostly propane,” that was burning.

“PES said there were three separate explosions that ‘impacted’ a unit that produces alkylate, which is used to boost gasoline octane,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Four workers suffered mild injured and were treated on site, the company added.

“The refinery processes approximately 335,000 barrels of crude oil per day (42 U.S. gallons per barrel), making it the largest oil refining complex on the U.S. Eastern seaboard,” the company website states, adding that the facility “strives to be a good neighbor in our surrounding community.”

It is also “the largest single source of particulate pollution in the Philadelphia area even when there isn’t an emergency,” NBC10 reported.

Friday’s blaze was the second fire at the refinery this month; the other took place June 10, as ABC6 noted.

“I believe that there is room for improvement, both in the operation of the refinery in light of two fires in as many weeks, and in the communication to residents,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Friday.

Climate campaigners are looking for more than just improvements in operations. “Explosions like this are what the fossil fuel economy looks like,” said Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement.

“When we burn fossil fuels, we endanger the air that we breathe and the water that we drink,” she said. “When we burn fossil fuels, we endanger our lives. And it’s no coincidence that communities of color and poor communities, like Southwest Philadelphia, are on the frontline of crises like this.”

Those communities are fed up. As local environmental justice group Philly Thrive pointed out Friday, a danger exists not just when refinery explosions grab headlines.

“Do you know how scared I was this morning to be shaken out of my sleep by the explosion?” said Sonya Sanders, a Philadelphia resident and member of Philly Thrive. “I do everything I can to close my windows and keep this pollution out of my house. But when these fires happen it shows there really is nothing we can do to protect ourselves.”

“Enough is enough,” continued Sanders. “We have to act before half the people in South and Southwest Philly are dead.”

“We have the right to breathe clean air,” added Philly Thrive member Sylvia Bennett, “and we need to hold the refinery accountable for what they’re putting out into the community.”

To jump-start such action, lawmakers should pass the Green New Deal legislation, said Sunrise’s Prakash, and stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry which is fueling the climate crisis. “Our leaders have chosen to put profits for some of the wealthiest men on Earth over the health and wellbeing of the rest of us,” said Prakash. “Unless we change course now and treat the crisis for what it is, we will continue to see more disasters like today.”

“It makes no sense to continue handing out massive tax breaks to dangerous refineries like the Philadelphia Energy Solutions facility,” she continued. “Instead, we must enact a Green New Deal that transitions us into a 21st century renewable economy and creates millions of jobs in the process.”


See Also: PHILADELPHIA REFINERY FIRE: Explosions at Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery caught on video |

The blaze at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex broke out around 4 a.m. Friday June 21st at a tank containing a mixture of butane and propane. Five workers were treated for minor injuries, and nearby residents were asked to stay inside. The cause remained unclear.


Air Pollution Permit Proposed for US Methanol Plant in Kanawha County, WV

June 23, 2019

================================== Friday, June 21, 2019 @ 7:55 AM =================================== AIR QUALITY PERMIT NOTICE from WV DEP Notice of Intent to Approve Permit for US Methanol On November 14, 2018, (and as resubmitted on April 15, 2019), US Methanol LLC applied to the WV Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality (DAQ) for a permit [...]

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Your Days are Now Getting Shorter, My Friend

June 22, 2019

A Lesson from the Summer Solstice From an Internet Post by Michael M. Barrick, Appalachian Chronicle, June 21, 2019 Just before noon today (EDT), summer begins. For many people, regardless of their spiritual beliefs, the Summer Solstice is to be celebrated. I agree! Because I love to be outdoors, I try to absorb every minute [...]

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Project Design Planning for Ethane Cracker Complex at Belmont Ohio

June 21, 2019

PTT Global Chemical taps Bechtel for possible Utica Shale ethane cracker From an Article by Bill Holland, S&P Global (Platts), June 20, 2019 HIGHLIGHTS — >> Marcellus, Utica could support four more crackers: US DOE >> Sequential cracker projects could more easily draw workers Houston, TX — Appalachian gas producers, under pressure from prices below [...]

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Urgent Quest to Explain Childhood Cancers in Southwestern Penna.

June 20, 2019

Panel urges studies to pin down cause of childhood cancers in region From an Article by Don Hopey & David Templeton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 19, 2019 Environmentalists and researchers attending a panel discussion Tuesday called for studies to determine whether shale-gas drilling and fracking, or other pollution sources, could be responsible for an increasing number [...]

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Toxic Effects of Drilling & Fracking will Grow for Decades Even if U.S. Operations were Halted Today!

June 19, 2019

Even If All US Drilling and Fracking Halts Today, Warns New Report, ‘Flood of Toxic Waste Streams’ Will Grow for Decades From an Article by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, June 18, 2019 Detailing decades of EPA’s mismanagement of toxic fossil fuel waste, researchers demand immediate action to stem assault on people and planet! For more [...]

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Childhood Cancers May be Caused by Environmental Factors in Pennsylvania

June 18, 2019

Gov. Tom Wolf asked to investigate possible link between Penna. fracking and childhood cancers From an Article by Don Hopey & David Templeton, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 6/17/19 More than 100 organizations and 800 individuals have signed a public letter to Gov. Tom Wolf calling on him to direct the state Department of Health to investigate [...]

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Rainfall has Reached Record Proportions in the United States

June 17, 2019

Ohio has wettest 12 months on record From an Article by Farm and Dairy, June 2019 WASHINGTON — May 2019 was the second-wettest month in U.S. history. Only one State got below average rainfall. And, only five were at or near average. The remaining 42 continental states were above or well above the average. Drenching [...]

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The Military – Industrial Complex is Significantly Affecting the Earth’s Climate

June 16, 2019

New Report Exposes Pentagon’s Massive Contributions to Climate Crisis Post-9/11 From an Article by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, June 12, 2019 Failing to curb the U.S. military’s fossil fuel use, Costs of War Project co-director warns, “will help guarantee the nightmare scenarios” forecast by scientists. From the 2001 launch of the so-called War on Terror [...]

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