News - Oil and Gas

In 2018, Canada finalized regulations to reduce methane emissions from upstream oil and natural gas facilities, some provisions of which went into effect in January 2020. In an analysis of Canada's new rules for the International Energy Agency, Kate Konschnik and IEA's Frances Reuland write that action to reduce methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective options to reduce global emissions and an essential complement to efforts to bring down emissions of carbon dioxide.

Regulating methane emissions will not only support the future competitiveness of the Canadian oil and gas sector but it will also provide real societal benefits and economic value, write Sarah Marie Jordaan and Kate Konschnik in an op-ed for The Globe and Mail.

The New Republic reports that the massive Aliso Canyon storage field, which contained more than 110 underground wells, is just a small part of America’s much larger natural gas infrastructure. Approximately 15,000 such wells are active across the United States, and nearly half of them are concentrated in six states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, New York, and California.

A Harvard study published in the Journal of Environmental Health found that around 65% of active natural gas storage (UGS) wells in the United States are located in suburban residential areas—not more sparsely populated commercial, industrial, or even rural areas like many new unconventional wells. The Nicholas Institute's Kate Konschnik was a co-author on the study.

As part of his climate-change focused presidential campaign, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed a plan to rapidly phase out extraction of fossil fuels in the U.S. The plan includes ending fossil fuel drilling on federal land, terminating taxpayer subsidies to fossil fuel business, and pursuing a complete, nationwide ban on fracking.

Atmospheric methane concentrations continue to increase globally, despite a pledge in 2016 from the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to reduce methane emissions from each country's oil and gas sector.

The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced grant awards for seven new projects totaling $5.3 million, including an award to a team of researchers led by Lydia Olander of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

In his new book, “The Fracking Debate: The Risks, Benefits, and Uncertainties of the Shale Revolution,” Daniel Raimi examines both sides of the oil and gas development issue.

In a New York Times op-ed, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head (and Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Advisory Board chairman) William Reilly noted that President Trump's proposed expansion of offshore drilling in environmentally sensitive areas could come at an economic cost. “A spill in any of those waters could threaten multibillion-dollar regional economies that depend on clean oceans and coastlines,” said Reilly, who pointed out that Trump has also called for reconsideration of the well control rule, which tightened controls on blowout preventers, which are designed to stop undersea oil and gas well explosions. Reilly said that rule was based in part on findings of the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, which he co-chaired.