Federal Oil and Gas Leases: Opportunities Exist to Capture Vented and Flared Natural Gas, Which Would Increase Royalty Payments and Reduce Greenhouse Gases
The above link has a video and includes several recommendations for executive action.
You can read the highlights of the report in this pdf document.
What GAO Found
Estimates of vented and flared natural gas for federal leases vary considerably, and GAO found that data collected by Interior to track venting and flaring on federal leases likely underestimate venting and flaring because they do not account for all sources of lost gas. For onshore federal leases, operators reported to Interior that about 0.13 percent of produced gas was vented or flared. Estimates from EPA and the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) showed volumes as high as 30 times higher. Similarly, for offshore federal leases, operators reported that 0.5 percent of the natural gas produced was vented and flared, while data from an Interior offshore air quality study showed that volume to be about 1.4 percent, and estimates from EPA showed it to be about 2.3 percent. GAO found that the volumes operators reported to Interior do not fully account for some ongoing losses such as the emissions from gas dehydration equipment or from thousands of valves—key sources in the EPA, WRAP, and Interior offshore air quality studies.
I didn’t see any mention of the health impacts but it’s a step in the right direction.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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The GAO greenhouse gas study is important.
I forwarded it to Howarth who had not yet seen it.
It is pretty great how these semi-formal networks work.
Stan Scobie, Binghamton, NY