Washington Post: Delaware-size gas plume over West illustrates the cost of leaking methane

Today, the Washington Post released an in-depth article detailing the causes and consequences of significant methane emissions associated with oil and gas production out West.

Image credit: NASA.gov

Image credit: NASA.gov

One of the main consequences of these emissions is the growing methane cloud identified by NASA (image at left), currently situated over New Mexico’s San Juan Basin. The cloud is thought to be caused both by methane leaks from aging oil and gas infrastructure, and from the industry practice of venting and flaring excess natural gas into the atmosphere.

From the article by Joby Warrick:

“Methane accounts for about 9 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and the biggest single source of it — nearly 30 percent — is the oil and gas industry, government figures show. All told, oil and gas producers lose 8 million metric tons of methane a year, enough to provide power to every household in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.”

Read the full article here.

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