Satellites Spot Carbon Pollution From Oil and Gas Wells

Berkeley, California banned the set up of natural gas pipes to new residential construction projects previous month. The metropolis is fully commited to slashing its carbon footprint, and natural gas is a carbon double-whammy: when burned, it releases carbon dioxide and, when leaked, its principal ingredient, methane, is a significantly a lot more strong greenhouse gas than CO2.

Numerous dozen California towns show up set to observe Berkeley’s direct. Which assists demonstrate why the U.S. government’s plan to scrap necessary checking for methane leaks is finding number of cheers from the oil and gas sector. Paying attention to gas leaks is essential to defending their product’s social license.

Those leaks, meanwhile, may well soon have nowhere to cover thanks to a rising wave of personal, methane-detecting satellites becoming positioned in orbit. Canada’s GHGSat led the demand in 2016 with its carbon-monitoring Claire microsatellite, and the business now has a next-technology microsat ready to launch. Numerous a lot more methane-detecting satellites are coming, which includes one from the Environmental Defense Fund. If gas producers will not come across and squelch their possess pollution, this proliferation of distant observers will make it more and more probable that some others will glow a spotlight on it.