Look at how methane emissions over the past six years have plummeted at the same time that natural gas production has soared. To listen to the greenstremists, you'd think this phenomenon was impossible. Inconceivable. "Big Oil = rampant pollution" is what we've been indoctrinated to believe for longer than my entire adult life. How can such a counterintuition possibly be the case?
Simple: Methane IS natural gas. And since natural gas is what the energy industry is attempting to extract, so that, yes, they can sell it, and yes, make a profit on it, guess what, boys and girls? They have an acute economic incentive to make sure that they allow as little of it to bleed off and escape as "methane emissions" as possible. A self-correcting problem that ought not require any regulatory reinforcement (even if the EPA was legal and constitutional), right?
But the EPA is blitzing the energy industry with the regulations anyway because, "F*** you".
- Me, nine months ago
EPA actually "proposed" these dunselesque anti-natural gas regs last October. And now, after most of a year has passed, they finally shoved them down our throats.
Entrance question: What took them so long?:
Because the U.S. Environmental P[ollu]tion Agency believes methane – the main component of natural gas – can be twenty-five times worse for the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, officials Thursday mandated that drillers, processors and pipeliners curb emissions of it by 45%.
Despite the already-proven and entirely logical inverse relationship between natural gas production and atmospheric methane emissions.
These methane standards are even stronger than EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy proposed in August. After reviewing more than 900,000 comments, the final plans call for cutting methane emissions by 510,000 tons by 2025. The August plan called for trimming pollution by 400,000 tons by that year....
The true objective not being reduction in methane emissions, which have already been falling due to producers' free market profit motive to maximize the usable and extractable quantity of it, but to eliminate natural gas extraction and production altogether, even though natural gas is by far the cleanest-burning fossil fuel there is and the United States possesses centuries worth of it.
West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association Executive Director Corky DeMarco said the new regulation will force operators to shut down some wells that are only marginally productive.
“This is yet another attack by this administration on fossil fuels. We are so blessed in this country to have the resources we have, but they are not letting us reach our potential,” he said. “With the monitoring equipment they are going to require, it won’t make sense to run some of the wells. They will be shut in.”
Which is, of course, the whole point. Hydraulic fracturing is the source of one of the Obama Regime's greatest failures: their inability to destroy the U.S. domestic energy market and skyrocket electricity rates, pump prices and the like. Technology and greater ease of extraction afforded by fracking has reduced natural gas prices by a factor of four in recent years, generating the domestic fossil fuel energy boom that has been the lone economic palliative during the ongoing Obama economic depression. Amazingly, the market has actually outsmarted and even overwhelmed the Obama EPA, which has been unable to slow it down or discredit the, yes, settled science underscoring its comparative environmental benefits.
So, in the allegedly waning days of the Obamidency, they are simply abandoning any pretense of objectivity or reasonableness or sanity, and are plainly and simply declaring war on the only part of the U.S. economy that has managed, despite the Regime's best efforts, to succeed. Because the poor and working and middle classes must be broken by runaway energy bills and yoked to sunbeams and windmills, no matter what it takes.
To edit a phrase, the lights are to go out....
....all over America.
Even before they do in Venezuela. Gotta keep up with the Maduros, after all.