U.S. Methane Mitigation 2015: A Review of Climate and Public Health Impacts
PSE Healthy Energy
23 Jan 2015
Jan 14 2015 the U.S. EPA, in response to the Obama Administration's mandate for methane emission reductions, released its plan to cut emissions from the oil and gas industry by 40% - 45% from the 2012 baseline. Response to the proposal has been mixed with many environmental groups immediately applauding the measure before questioning the administration's narrow focus on new emission sources only.
Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012
Anthony R. Ingraffea, Martin T. Wells, Renee L. Santoro, and Seth B. C. Shonkoff
Previous research has demonstrated that proximity to unconventional gas development is associated with elevated concentrations of methane in groundwater aquifers in Pennsylvania. To date, the mechanism of this migration is poorly understood. Our study, which looks at more than 41,000 conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells, helps to explain one possible mechanism of methane migration: compromised structural integrity of casing and cement in oil and gas wells. Additionally, methane, being the primary constituent of natural gas, is a strong greenhouse gas. The identification of mechanisms through which methane may migrate to the atmosphere as fugitive emissions is important to understand the climate dimensions of oil and gas development.
Environmental Public Health Dimensions of Shale and Tight Gas Development
Environmental Health Perspectives
16 Apr 2014
Seth B. Shonkoff, Jake Hays, and Madelon L. Finkel
Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development
Dana R. Caulton, Paul B. Shepson, Renee L. Santoro, Jed P. Sparks, Robert W. Howarth, Anthony R. Ingraffea, Maria O. L. Cambaliza, Colm Sweeney, Anna Karion, Kenneth J. Davis, Brian H. Stirm, Stephen A. Montzka, Ben R. Miller
The role of ethics in shale gas policies
Science of the Total Environment, 2014
01 Feb 2014
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Jake Hays, Madelon L. Finkel
This article argues that legislators making decisions about shale gas development have a prima facie duty to minimize false negatives.
State of Renewables
PSE Healthy Energy
28 Jan 2014
Elena M. Krieger, PhD
An evaluation of electricity generation from utility-scale renewables in the United States on the national level as well as in five states: California, New York, Texas, Minnesota, and Indiana.
Drilling California: A reality check on the Monterey shale
PSE Healthy Energy/Post Carbon Institute
03 Dec 2013
J. David Hughes
This groundbreaking study is first publicly available empirical analysis of actual oil production data from the Monterey Formation, including from wells that have undergone hydraulic fracturing and acidization. It lays out some of the play's fundamental characteristics compared to other tight oil plays, including geological properties, current production, production potential, and associated environmental issues.
AB 32 Climate Change Scoping Plan First Update: Comments and Recommendations
PSE Healthy Energy
04 Nov 2013
Seth B. Shonkoff PhD, MPH
AB 32 is correct to focus on energy alongside transportation, agriculture, building infrastructure, water, waste, and land use as useful measures for lowering emissions and combating climate change. However, if it is serious about reaching its goal it must include more focus on oil and gas production. The comments that follow will be directed towards climate change mitigation efforts and progress toward the 2020 goal, focusing in particular on the energy sector, GHG emissions, and the latest understanding of climate science.
The implications of unconventional drilling for natural gas: a global public health concern
11 Oct 2013
Finkel, M.L. and J. Hays
This commentary explores the need for research to quantify the potential risks to the environment and to human health from unconventional natural gas development in both the short-term and long-term.
PSE Analysis of Allen et al. 2013. “Measurements of Methane Emissions at Natural Gas Production Sites in the United States”, PNAS.
We identify a number of methodological issues that render this study incomplete and problematic in terms of it being representative of well site methane emissions in the real world.