by: the Common Constitutionalist
You may have noticed gas prices cratering again, which is great news for individual consumers, but another bad sign for the overall economy. As much as I like filling up for a lot less, it’s less of a pleasure knowing that the price isn’t coming down because things are going so well. It’s the opposite. But still, the relatively low price does help.
However, the Obama administration doesn’t appear to feel the same regarding energy. He and his minions would prefer to drive the cost up, regardless of how much it hurts us. And what better way to achieve this goal than through the EPA and the threat of global warming. And son of a gun, they found a new target – methane.
Okay, it’s not new, but it has become the target du jour. ThinkProgress writes that, “Regulating Carbon dioxide, by far the most common greenhouse gas, is critical to halt the emissions that cause climate change. But methane is a very close second, and for the first time, the federal government is moving to significantly rein in methane pollution.”
However, they appear to have given up on sequestering cow farts, at least for now, as, “The Obama administration released a proposed rule Tuesday to regulate methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas wells across the country. How much? It’s complicated.”
Of course it’s complicated – the government is involved.
Naturally environmentalist wacko groups are thrilled with the decision to further crush the American economy and put still more energy workers on the ever-growing unemployment roles.
“We applaud the Obama administration for taking an important step toward addressing this significant contributor to climate disruption,” said Friends of the Earth’s Kate DeAngelis in a statement.
Now it’s climate disruption? Who knew we could disrupt the climate! I guess the Friends of the Earth did.
But there’s a problem. I guess it’s less a problem than a reality check. It is naturally occurring methane seepage that dwarfs what’s being emitted from anything man-made.
In the past several years scientists have taken to the oceans to find an astonishing amount of these vents and mud volcanoes spewing out methane from the ocean floor. Just this past year they found hundreds of these vents off our eastern coast – 570 just between Massachusetts and North Carolina.
Unfortunately for warmests, these vents are, “not associated with features like oil or gas reservoirs or active tectonic margins,” said Prof. Adam Skarke from Mississippi State University, who led the study. “Widespread seepage had not been expected on the Atlantic margin. It is not near a plate tectonic boundary like the US Pacific coast, nor associated with a petroleum basin like the northern Gulf of Mexico.”
Scientists say worldwide, there could be as many as 30,000 of these methane vents. In 2004 the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute stated: “Far more natural gas is sequestered on the seafloor – or leaking from it – than can be drilled from all existing wells on Earth. The ocean floor is teaming with methane, the same gas that fuels our homes and our economy. But evidence has steadily accumulated that natural seepage of methane from the seafloor is a large, continuous, and ubiquitous phenomenon.”
In 2012 a group of scientists from Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland and Norway did an on-site study in the Greenland Sea of methane vents and deposits (methane hydrates). They found the release was not due to recent ocean warming. That in fact a lot of these vents and deposits were hundreds of years old. “At numerous emergences we found deposits that might already be hundreds of years old,” and that “the observed gas emanations are probably not caused by human influence,” says chief scientist Dr. Christian Berndt.
The EPA claims their methane limiting scheme may cut about 400,000 tons of methane, which is apparently supposed to have an impact on the precious environment. That sounds like a lot, but scientists estimate that beneath these thousands of vents on the ocean floor are billions of tons of the stuff.
The EPA crackdown on methane will do exactly nothing to save the climate (as if it needs saving) – but we and they already know that. These new rules have nothing to do with climate and everything to do with limiting.