Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reconciling divergent estimates of oil and gas methane emissions

More science: "Measured oil and gas methane emissions are 90% larger than estimates based on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory and correspond to 1.5% of natural gas production. This rate of methane loss increases the 20-y climate impacts of natural gas consumed in the region by roughly 50%."

Zavala-Araiza D, Lyon DR, Alvarez RA, Davis KJ, Harriss R, Herndon SC, Karion A, Kort EA, Lamb BK, Lan X et al. . 2015. Reconciling divergent estimates of oil and gas methane emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112(51):15597-15602.

Full text of this study:

Reconciling divergent estimates of oil and gas methane emissions

A single gas well leak is California's biggest contributor to climate change | Environment | The Guardian

The first direct overhead photos of the leaking Aliso Canyon well pad in Los Angeles.

The first direct overhead photos of the leaking Aliso Canyon well pad in Los Angeles. Photograph: Earthworks

A single gas well leak is California's biggest contributor to climate change | Environment | The Guardian

A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas - Howarth - 2014 - Energy Science & Engineering - Wiley Online Library

So much about the so called "bridge" function of shale oil and gas. Why not getting solar and wind NOW???

For the full scientific publication from Cornell University click the below link:

A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas - Howarth - 2014 - Energy Science & Engineering - Wiley Online Library

Plugging Methane From Oil Wells Seen Topping $125 Million - Bloomberg Business

Finally the Obama administration is attacking this waste and pollution. The industry is up in arms to spend the money because they are used to be able to do what they want. Too bad that the Feds cannot enforce this on ALL land - even here in Adrian where Savoy flared perfectly good gas from 10 wells for more than 2 years!!!!!

For the full story click below:

Plugging Methane From Oil Wells Seen Topping $125 Million - Bloomberg Business

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Daily Telegram Published a Propaganda Piece About Inhumane and Dirty Lenawee County Factory Farms

How can cows be "happy" when they are abused all their life being confined in hundreds and thousands in large battery barns - a practice that is ILLEGAL in Europe where the owners of many CAFO farms in the US originate from. In addition, the Daily Telegram in its "Hurray Lenawee County" article portraits the farms as "environmentally conscious", which is an outright audacity as they were and still are violating the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's much too relaxed regulations and patchy and inconsequential enforcement. This is what Pam Taylor had to say about this - and this woman and her group ECCSCM (Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan) know these issues very well for many years:

Re the Daily Telegram article, 1.30.16, about Milk Source.

Please read the timeline attached in the OneDrive below.

Lime Lake is about 1/2 mile downstream (and downhill) from a dairy CAFO (Hudson Dairy, with 3,485 cows and 40 calves according to their 2014 annual report, although it says "Southern Michigan Dairy" on the map).  The only thing between the barn/lagoons and Lime Lake Inlet is a field where manure is regularly applied. MDEQ found samples as high as 20,000/100mgL E. coli at the inlet point at the lake.   There is/was a tile pipe running directly from a "stormwater lagoon" and barn area that discharges into the inlet a bit farther upstream from the lake (see the map).   We took samples of a slimy green substance in Lime Lake in August, 2015 and sent them to Wayne State University's Helix Lab for testing.  Positive for cyanobacteria, positive for microcystin, and the bacteria DNA test was positive = bovine (cattle).  We phoned MDEQ several times during August about this, e-mailed to follow up on Sept. 21 (to make sure we followed proper channels), brought it up to MDEQ Surface Water Div. Chief W. Creal directly in a face-to-face meeting on Nov. 2.  Then we brought it up again, asked for follow-up and offered to pay for further testing ourselves, not only in Lime Lake but in several other neighboring small lakes where the same situation was reported, in another face-to-face meeting on Nov. 22 w/Jackson MDEQ staff.  During late August, the same situation was reported by residents in Fisher Lake, just east of the facility (across from U.S. 127).  MDEQ inspectors came down, knowing about the situation a couple miles away on Lime Lake, but refused to take samples.

Just thought you'd like to know that there may be additional parts to this story.  You can decide for yourselves if there is any connection between what happened in Lime Lake and the dairy.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The EPA Re-visited the Savoy Processing Plant on M52 (Witt Farm) and Still Found Leaking Equipment

Following my request to the EPA for information about the outcome of the legal procedure against Savoy Energy, the EPA's officer in charge, Natalie Topinka told me that there is still no final settlement on the findings of the EPA during their announced site visit back on 4/28/14 - that lead to a formal notification of Savoy's violations against the Clean Air Act on May 29 2014.

Natalie also informed me that the current settlement discussions remain confidential, and that the EPA conducted another inspection at the Adrian 25 facility (Witt Farm) on October 6, 2015. I filed a FOIA for the inspection report and accompanying IR videos and images (attached below - videos on Youtube, pictures on Flickr soon).

The inspection report is not stating violations but is meant to be a straight documentation of observations, which specifically excludes any regulatory interpretations, compliance determinations, speculations, or recommendations. The EPA continues to work on this internally as an open enforcement case.

Natalie also clarified on the most recent inspection to be marked as an "announced" inspection, meaning that the EPA gave notice to the facility prior to the inspection (as was the original 4/28/14 visit!). She stated that the vast majority of EPA's inspections are unannounced: "However, for certain facilities that may not have employees on site all the time, we may give notice to ensure that we can gain access to the site when we arrive, and to arrange for an employee to be available to answer questions and receive presentation of our credentials. That was the situation with the October 6, 2015 inspection - we gave notice only a couple of hours in advance to make sure that someone from Savoy would be there during our visit."

This shows that Savoy - like most environmental violators in the oil and gas industry - do not even worry about covering up their improper processes as they know very well that the existing laws have not much teeth and allow them to do business as usual despite proven violations for a long time until a final settlement is reached - and then still get away with it by declaring that the required measures to improve their environmental footprint are beyond their financial capabilities.

Natalie Topinka offered me again to share her contact information for anyone who has questions:

Natalie M. Topinka
Environmental Scientist
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5 Air Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Branch
77 West Jackson Boulevard (AE-17J)
Chicago, IL 60604
ph: (312) 886-3853
fax: (312) 692-2410

Protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility.  Help EPA
fight pollution by reporting possible harmful environmental activity.
To do so, visit EPA's website at

The PDF of the below document can be found here

Friday, January 22, 2016

There are many arguments against the Rover (and Nexus) pipelines

I am sharing an excellent essay by Frank Zaski, Energy Activist:
This was written with Rover in mind, but much of it applies to Nexus as well. Let me know what I missed. thanks.

There are many arguments against Rover (and Nexus)

Prospects of transporting gas thru Dawn to Eastern Canada and Eastern US have been diminished by the many pipelines already serving these locations from eastern Marcellus thru Niagara and along the US east coast. 

The prospects of large, long term LNG exports have been greatly diminished by; Australia doubling their LNG export capacity, plans for a NG pipeline from Iran to Europe, discovery of gas off Egypt, worldwide trend towards using more renewable energy and energy efficiency, plus, 195 nations pledged at COP21 to cut CO2 and methane emissions.
Most US LNG export plans are being questioned by the financial community.  

In spite of the strong economic and automotive rebound, electric sales in Michigan have declined in most years since 2005 and continue to decline thru the first 3 quarters of 2015. (EIA) The 9 coal plans being closed in Michigan are small and have been greatly underutilized.
Uutilities in Michigan forecast flat or declining demand for gas for heating.

Prospects of transporting gas to Chicago thru Vector have been diminished by the reversal of the REX pipeline. Now even plans for another pipeline to ship gas from REX to Chicago are in doubt. 

Prospects of transporting gas to the Gulf have been diminished by the many pipeline reversal that already transport gas to that region directly from Marcellus and Utica.

A review of SNL pipeline statistics suggests Michigan and Midwest pipelines are being underutilized, even in January.

Rover and Nexus are redundant. They start at the same place, essentially parallel each other and then end at the same place.

There are many comments of overbuild of natural gas pipelines in the US. Irrational exuberance took over the industry a few years ago. What was considered a bold move is now being described as financial recklessness.

Rover is a producer driven pipeline and many Rover’s producer/shippers are in deep financial trouble. In response to their unsustainable debt, declining creditworthiness and limited access to capital, financial institutions are putting away considerable reserves to cover anticipated defaults on loans. There are predictions that a third of shale gas drillers will go bankrupt. (And, what will this do to Rover’s firm commitments?) 

Gas pipeline companies are also being impacted by this and low gas price and production cutbacks. Kinder Morgan had to drastically cut their dividend and capital expenditures. Williams’s bonds have been downgraded to junk status. Even Energy Transfer Equity, the parent of Rover owner Energy Transfer Partners, is considered financially risky with unsustainable debt according to an analyst.

Given the above, Rover is not needed and would not serve the public interest. Rover is an imprudent investment and optional pipeline for ETP.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Climate change: 2015 'shattered' global temperature record by wide margin - BBC News

Climate change: 2015 'shattered' global temperature record by wide margin

TemperaturesImage copyrightMet Office
Image captionGlobal temperature anomalies in 2015: Many parts of the world have experienced significantly higher temperatures than the average through 2015
Global temperatures in 2015 were the warmest on record, according to data published by meteorologists in the UK and US.
The Met Office figures show that 2015 was 0.75C warmer than the long-term average between 1961-1990.
US data suggests that 2015 "shattered" the temperature record by the widest margin ever recorded.
Experts say the record temperatures were due to a combination of El NiƱo and human-induced warming.
For the full story - click the below link:
Climate change: 2015 'shattered' global temperature record by wide margin - BBC News