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.
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.
Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States
Scot M. Miller, Steven C. Wofsy, Anna M. Michalak, Eric A. Kort, Arlyn E. Andrews, Sebastien C. Biraud, Edward J. Dlugokencky, Janusz Eluszkiewicz, Marc L. Fischer, Greet Janssens-Maenhout, Ben R. Miller, John B. Miller, Stephen A. Montzka, Thomas Nehrkor
Successful regulation of greenhouse gas emissions requires knowledge of current methane emission sources. Existing state regulations in California and Massachusetts require ∼15% greenhouse gas emissions reductions from current levels by 2020. However, government estimates for total US methane emissions may be biased by 50%, and estimates of individual source sectors are even more uncertain. This study uses atmospheric methane observations to reduce this level of uncertainty. We find greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and fossil fuel extraction and processing (i.e., oil and/or natural gas) are likely a factor of two or greater than cited in existing studies. Effective national and state greenhouse gas reduction strategies may be difficult to develop without appropriate estimates of methane emissions from these source sectors.
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
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.
The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability
Camilo Mora, Abby G. Frazier, Ryan J. Longman, Rachel S. Dacks, Maya M. Walton, Eric J. Tong, Joseph J. Sanchez, Lauren R. Kaiser, Yuko O. Stender, James M. Anderson, Christine M. Ambrosino, Iria Fernandez-Silva, Louise M. Giuseffi & Thomas W. Giambelluca
This study presents a new index of the year when the projected mean climate of a given location moves to a state continuously outside the bounds of historical variability under alternative greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania
Environmental Science & Technology
02 Oct 2013
Warner NR, CA, Christie, RB Jackson, A Vengosh
This study examined the water quality and isotopic compositions of discharged effluents, surface waters, and stream sediments associated with a treatment facility site in western Pennsylvania.
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.
The Environmental Price Tag on a Ton of Mountaintop Removal Coal
Brian D. Lutz, Emily S. Bernhardt, William H. Schlesinger
This study provides an estimate for how much coal is produced per unit landscape disturbance in the Central Appalachians using regional satellite-derived mine delineations and historical county-level coal production data for the period 1985–2005.
Histopathological Analysis of Fish from Acorn Fork Creek, Kentucky, Exposed to Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Releases
28 Aug 2013
Diana M. Papoulias and Anthony L. Velasco
The objective of this study was to describe post-fracking water quality in Acorn Fork and evaluate if the changes in water quality could have extirpated Blackside Dace populations.