It’s easy to wonder why the oil and gas industry has been getting so worked up in recent months, holding rallies and podcasts and the like about proposed restrictions on the industry.
Certainly the US government did impose a moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. But that was in reaction to an event – the Macondo well explosion. The reality is that the US government in general – either Congress or whoever is running the administration – has made a lot of threats over the years and yet none of them have turned into anything substantial. Look how far climate legislation has gone.
That said, there does seem to be a sign that things might be changing on some level – and not for the better if you happen to make your living in the oil and gas industry.
The air above Houston is some of the most regulated in the world. That is because the region – the energy capital of the world – hosts 497 industrial facilities with a total of 27,463 flares, boilers and the like, all emitting chemicals – from benzene to xylenes – many of which are harmful to your health. And unplanned – or accidental – emissions continue with some regularity.
Houston is not alone, with other cities as more problematic in controlling their emissions. But it is a good place to start when considering how the US will manage to control carbon emissions, given its inability to get a handle on other pollutants it has long had the technology to tackle.
Given the decades-long effort to reduce pollutants emitted into the US’ air, what hope, then, is there for other high energy producing states, ranging from China to Russia to Venezuela to Nigeria in the global search for cleaner air?
Elsewhere this Monday:
- The sudden rise of geothermal energy
- White House rebuff to solar activists
- Special report on electric cars
- Parsing the industry reports on the BP oil spill
- Why did PG&E spend millions on politics, not pipelines?