NYT: Secret Climate Change Oil Executive Voice Recording

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

NYT has revealed that a secret tape recording of a meeting of oil executives has shown that oil companies flare off unwanted natural gas.

A Secret Recording Reveals Oil Executives’ Private Views on Climate Change

At a meeting last year, industry leaders contradicted public claims that emissions of climate-warming methane are under control

By Hiroko Tabuchi
Sept. 12, 2020, 9:14 a.m. ET

Last summer, oil and gas-industry groups were lobbying to overturn federal rules on leaks of natural gas, a major contributor to climate change. Their message: The companies had emissions under control.

In private, the lobbyists were saying something very different.

At a discussion convened last year by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, a group that represents energy companies, participants worried that producers were intentionally flaring, or burning off, far too much natural gas, threatening the industry’s image, according to a recording of the meeting reviewed by The New York Times.

“We’re just flaring a tremendous amount of gas,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, at the June 2019 gathering, held in Colorado Springs. “This pesky natural gas,” he said. “The value of it is very minimal,” particularly to companies drilling mainly for oil.

The pushback against more stringent methane rules has been led by smaller, independent producers who argued the rules were unfairly burdensome for smaller drillers, because they could not afford to invest in costly leak-detection and capture technology.

Oil giants like BP, on the other hand, urged the federal government to keep methane regulations in place, saying it was “the right thing to do.”

Dan Haley, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, laid out the stakes.

“Hippies were going to change the world, until they wanted to get a job and buy a BMW,” Mr. Haley said in the meeting. “In Colorado, we’ve been kind of playing a game of whack-a-mole. We went from where fracking was the dirty word, and contaminated your water. And we inundated them with information about that and blitzed the TV airwaves,” he said. “Then slowly that changed into a health and safety messaging. And so we’re ramping up our health and safety messaging.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/12/climate/methane-natural-gas-flaring.html

Wow, a tape recording of oil executives discussing normal conduct of business, and public relations strategies to counter negative messaging from activists so they can just get on with business.

I love Dan Haley’s whack-a-mole comment. We all know most hippies sold out and became yuppies. If Michael Moore’s film “Planet of the Humans” is any guide, some high profile climate activists may also be well along the path of following former hippies down the money trail.

As for the rule change, President Trump’s recently announced rule change is intended to stop small fossil fuel companies from being strangled by red tape. I suspect some big companies would love to keep as many onerous Obama era rules as possible, to keep profit margins high by messing up the ability of smaller independents to undercut big companies by delivering cheap fuel to customers.

115 thoughts on “NYT: Secret Climate Change Oil Executive Voice Recording

  1. None may resist our green steam roller in any way. After all that just wouldn’t be fair. All must surrender their resources to feed their proper masters!

    • The Gray Lady too often uses her gray matter to deceive rather than inform. This NYT revelation includes at least 3 deceptions.

      First, methane leaks differ from natural gas flares. Methane can LEAK from pipe seams and other points anywhere between a well and the ultimate destination. Individual leaks are typically tiny. Natural gas is deliberately FLARED when it is senseless to ship the gas to a home, business, generator, institution … Quantities flared range from small to large.

      Second, flaring DESTROYS methane, thereby PREVENTING this greenhouse gas from harming the environment.

      Third, EVERYONE familiar with the crude oil and natural gas business KNOWS flaring has been ROUTINE for DECADES. Flares can NOT be hidden from view.

      • One more thought: Anti-pipeline and anti-fracking zealots cause natural gas to be flared. Both prevent and delay adding pipeline capacity, which, in turn, necessitates flaring because natural gas co-produced with crude oil cannot be delivered to homes, businesses, institutions …

      • 3 deceptions.

        First, methane leaks differ from natural gas flares.

        so you think that unburnt leaks are the same as burnt off flares? I guess you don’t own a gas cooker then.

        Methane is reckoned to be 20 times more powerful as GHG than CO2 into which it oxydises naturally after some disputed time. I would guess the original motivation of flaring the gas was to prevent smell nuisance and the risk of explosions. Now the main public reason is probably to reduce it to a less powerful GHG.

        • Greg obviously knows nothing about the natural gas industry and cannot even understand dm’s comment. dm said leaks are not the same as flares whereas NYT implied they were the same.
          Yes, methane is a much stronger GHG than CO2 but is present in minute quantities in the atmosphere. Your guess about the reason for flaring is not correct. It was entirely economic. Methane was produced from wells for oil and could not be used so it had to be flared. Odour had nothing to do with it as neither natural gas nor CO2 have odour. The natural gas we all know and love has extra odouriferous chemicals added for safety reasons, i.e., so that leaks can be quickly identified before becoming dangerous.

          • Paul, well agreeing with most og your post, I’ll have to take issue with you about natural gass not having a smell/ I have both a gas well and a collection/compressor that feeds a buried 16 in line (west texas gas) on my property.. The gas is piped from the well through 2 inch black poly on the surface , and there are several places where the gas smell is noticeable–especially in the morning when there is no wind. These wells, and the collection lines are old, and do not produce much gas—at the current price, they didn’t make enough to pay the electric bill for the compressor, so it is now disabled. Thus there is no regular maintenance. and little leaks do not get repaired. The lease holder doesn’t seem to care, and I do not hold the minerals on my place, so don’t have much of a say about any of it.

          • @ John VC

            Natural Gas Odorization Regulations

            PART 192: TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL AND OTHER GAS BY PIPELINE: MINIMUM FEDERAL SAFETY STANDARDS**

            Subpart L: Operations

            192.625 – Odorization of gas.

            (a) A combustible gas in a distribution line must contain a natural odorant or be odorized so that at a concentration in air of one-fifth of the lower explosive limit, the gas is readily detectable by a person with a normal sense of smell.

            https://naturalgasodorization.com/192-625-odorant-safety-regulations/

          • these are not distribution lines—I’m referring to the collection lines from the well head into the WTG main collection pipe. No where any “sent” can be added, and the stuff does smell.

          • these are not distribution lines—I’m referring to the collection lines from the well head into the WTG main collection pipe. No where any “sent” can be added, and the stuff does smell.

          • Greg is paid to make stupid, disruptive comments on WUWT, just like Griff and Loydo. I’d be willing to bet that they are one and the same individual, spamming the comments from three different email addresses.

          • Natural gas is odorized by mercaptan sulfur, which is either already present in the gas or added prior to putting it in the pipeline. Methane itself is odorless. The odorant is added as a safety measure, to all people to detect leaks. If methane was distributed without such a measure, it would be much more dangerous than it is.

            As a greenhouse gas, methane is extremely overrated. It has only one, very narrow, IR absorption band, and that is in a region of the thermal emission spectrum of the Earth that contains very little of the total radiative emitted power.

            The reason (if you can call it that) methane earns the heavyweight greenhouse gas title is that its concentration in the atmosphere is so minuscule that any tiny increase produces a large change in its absorption of outgoing infrared. In other words, the derivative of the absorption of outgoing infrared with respect to methane concentration is very large. But that tells us absolutely nothing about the actual effect of methane on global temperature.

            I recently rode in a relative’s Tesla Model X, and he was showing off its (really amazing) features to me. When we got on the highway, he said “Are you ready for a Tesla Takeoff?!?” and then put the pedal to the metal. In 3 seconds, we were traveling 60 mph.

            By warmunist logic, had he kept his foot on the accelerator for 15 minutes, we would have been in orbit around the Earth.

            The Tesla Model X has a finite capacity for acceleration. It runs out pretty quickly at speeds above 100 mph. That’s because it has a top speed limit, imposed by the power it can deliver to overcome the various drag forces, imposed by nature, multiplied by its speed.

            Methane has a very tiny global warming potential. But it’s “methane takeoff” is rip-roaring!

          • John VC – September 13, 2020 at 1:10 pm

            these are not distribution lines—

            GETTA CLUE, …… John, ….. all pipelines are “distribution lines”, ……. and it matter not what said pipes are distributing …. or how far their contents are being distributed.

          • Don’t know what your problem is Cogar, but it’s you who needs to get a clue. I look at this system most every day as my cattle graze by that well. A grand says you cannot show me or anyone else where the smell is added to the line. See what Mr. Kelly had to say just before your snide comment-

          • John, pure natural gas is odorless. Natural gas straight from the well is rarely pure. It’s the impurities (for example Sulfur) that cause the odor.

          • Michael S. Kelly – September 13, 2020 at 7:22 pm

            Natural gas is odorized by mercaptan sulfur, which is either already present in the gas or added prior to putting it in the pipeline.

            Methyl mercaptan is released from decaying organic matter in marshes and is present in the natural gas of certain regions of the United States, in coal tar, and in some crude oils.
            https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=222&tid=40

          • From a tune recorded by Bing Crosby and Gene Autry, among others ….

            “the oil wells have lots of smells,
            deep in the heart of Texas…”

        • Komrade: Breaking news- NYT reports that oil companies provided the fuel to whites who drove to peaceful protests and caused all the violence this summer.
          Not everything is a lie, they sprinkle in bits of truth. I mean, the oil companies do sell fuel. And NG is flared off (for decades, why’d they notice now?). But every material item is a lie. For decades.

          • Indeed, not everything is a lie. However, what they do is selectively use some facts while selectively omitting others to weave narratives that are often total lies. That’s when they’re not just blatantly lying, which they also often do.

      • One molecule of methane has less than one fifth the radiation absorption of CO2 but as there is only 1.7ppm in the atmosphere (cf 410ppm for CO2) the effect on the atmosphere is undetectable. It is not a greenhouse gas. When methane is burnt one molecule gives 1 molecule of CO2. If you ignore water vapor as a greenhouse gas (as does the IPCC) then the combusted CH4 is the same as CO2 (also not a greenhouse gas). When CH4 is burnt one molecule results in two molecules of water vapor which is the only greenhouse gas but this is no different to the water vapor evaporated from the oceans and the quantity produced is not measurable from the evaporation of oceans, lakes, rivers and inundated land surfaces after rain.

        • AGW trivia:

          Atmospheric concentrations and heat trapping ability of “greenhouse” gases

          Carbon dioxide (CO2) 383 ppm — 0.0383% —– Specific Heat Capacity – 0.844 kJ/kg K

          Water vapor (H2O) 20K-40K ppm – 2.0%-4.0% – Specific Heat Capacity – 1.930 kJ/kg K

          Methane —— (CH4) 1.745 ppm – 0.0001745% — Specific Heat Capacity – 2.220 kJ/kg K

          The average mass of the atmosphere is about 5 quadrillion (5,000,000,000,000,000) metric tons.

          1.9 trillion tons of CO2, …. 200 trillion tons of H20 vapor …. and 8.7 billion tons of CH4

          There is 105 times more H2O vapor than CO2, with 2.3 times more Specific Heat Capacity.

          There is 217.8 times more CO2 than CH4, but CH4 has 2.6 times the Specific Heat Capacity.

          There is 22,923 times more H2O vapor than CH4, but CH4 has 1.2 times the Specific Heat Capacity.

  2. It’s not been a secret in like forever… if the infrastructure for capturing and delivering natural gas is not in place, then there is no other option to get rid of it….. the stupid it burns!

      • Co-locate gas turbine generators and turn it into electricity which is a lot easier to transport and sell on the existing infrastructure that’s bringing electricity to the wells.

        • You still have to run power lines.
          You would also have to build hundreds of small generators all over the country, generators that in many cases would only be used for a few years.

          • NAH, …. many of those generators will be used for many, many years because people will steal them and take the home for their private/emergency uses.

        • CO2- A better idea, based on ancient preservation method, is to locate brewery there, and use heat to make beer! If we offered to ship it north, that would be a pipeline the Canadians will build. Mr. Luhman’s worry about sulfer is solved by extracting it and putting it in boxed wine!!

        • The present infrastructure supports the present structure. I increase production you must increase the infrastructure. If you add electric cars and buses you will have to do both. To produce concrete, solar panels and windmills you need a tremendous amount of heat that electricity cannot produce.

  3. I can only think of three things to do with extra natural gas, probably all impractical. Inject it back into the well. Store it in liquid form and truck it out as a pipeline either can’t be installed or would be costly. Move a small turbine power plant in and produce electricity which is shipped out over the same lines powering the drilling operation.

    The oil industry flared natural gas for may year because they had the same problem. It’s unlikely they will come up with an easy fix to this problem because if there was one, it would have been done already.

    • Tens of thousands of West Virginians enjoy the “FREE” natural gas (CH4) that is delivered to their place of abode 24/365 via a pipeline that is connected to the “outflow” of the wellhead.

      Many of said recipients have “emergency” NG electrical generators ….. or “24/7/365” electrical generators.

  4. I am “well ” aware why excess gas is flared but what annoys me is the constant “beef ” against meat and milk because of the methane that cattle and other farmed animals burp.
    The greens and the uninformed media class enteric methane in the same category as methane released from coal mining and oil wells .
    The enteric methane from livestock is a cycle and not one additional atom of carbon or molecule containing carbon is added to the atmosphere over any time frame.
    All fodder that farmed animals consume has absorbed CO2 from the air and the small amount of methane belched during digestion is soon broken down in the upper atmosphere into CO2 and water vapour .
    It is a short term cycle and can never raise atmospheric methane levels .
    Animal farming through out the world turns fodder that humans cannot eat into high quality protein food .
    Proud to be farming to feed the world with ” natural gas “burping cows .

    • To the extent that the animal feed was grown using nitrogen fertilizers, these fertilizers were probably made by the Haber process starting with natural gas to make the hydrogen by steam reforming. A lot of CO2 is released by these chemistries. I seem to recall that about 40% of the nitrogen within the protein in our bodies originated by this route.

      • Farmers don’t always use fertilizers. I am near Phoenix and there is a dairy farm within easy walking distance away from me. The farmer spreads the cow manure on the fields to dispose of it however he feeds a lot of alfalfa. It’s not difficult to do as in this climate you can get about a dozen cuttings a year off a field. They will also grow corn with scattered seeds instead of rows and for a little extra cash they will grow a crop of cotton. The primary chemical they use to improve the soil is sulphuric acid which neutralizes the alkaline in the soil and release the minerals. Other than that, sometimes they need a crop duster for pest control but mostly it’s add a lot of water and watch the crop grow.

        Crop rotation is far from dead and it greatly reduces your cost of production without restricting your income. The nitrogen fixing ability of alfalfa is well known and when you need the crop for feed, it’s a win, win.

        • That’s why I used the qualifier, “To the extent.”

          Our industrialized food system in the U.S. is heavily reliant on nitrogen fertilizers, for corn especially. I would add that I don’t necessarily think this is the healthiest, but an alternative is starvation.

  5. It’s no so much that anyone wants to flare it off, it’s just not economical to collect it in order to get it to market. Anyway, thermal oxidizer units get rid of flares.

    • Reply to Scissor,
      If the world did not have artificial nitrogen there would be wide spread starvation through out the world with the population increasing from under 2 billion and now approaching 8 billion.
      Yes we do use some urea but many New Zealand farms rely on clovers to fix nitrogen in the soil to feed the grasses .
      Most sheep and beef farms here use very little if any artificial nitrogen.
      When growing large scale vegetables or broad acre cereal production applying nitrogen either artificial or manure is essential and potato growers apply large amounts of urea .
      If 40% of protein in our bodies was grown using artificial nitrogen what would we be eating if it had not been invented ?
      We would be starving .

      • I agree with you.

        People don’t realize the extent to which our food itself is dependent on fossil fuels, not only its cultivation and harvesting and transportation, but its great contribution to feed for animals and ultimately as a source of the elements carbon and nitrogen in our diet. This applies to sulfur and phosphorous to a lesser extent, though a lot of sulfur is recovered from petroleum these days.

    • I disagree. It is dangerous to store, and the green weenies block construction of the pipelines needed to get to the market.

  6. Burning off natural gas is a very common practice throughout the world.

    It is much less harmful to the environment than just releasing the methane gas into the atmosphere without burning.

    All that has been well known for decades.

    It would be much more informative for readers of the NYT to discuss the tens of thousands every-day, useful products made from natural gas

  7. Many municipal waste disposal plants/sites also flare off unwanted gas. The only place I know of that did capture and pipe the gas off to be used was a sewage treatment plant in Havant, UK. It was piped in to a big IBM factory next door to save on heating costs.

    Nothing new or secret.

    • LaGrange, GA has a state-of-the-art landfill that produces gas piped to industries in its industrial area.

    • Where (in the IBM plant) it was burned to produce heat. For exactly the same amount of CO2 (and water, the actually significant “greenhouse gas”) produced.

      Where it is convenient and economic to make use of the gas, it should be done. But whether it is burned at the wellhead, or in a “green” mass-transit bus – it has the same effect.

    • Fargo North Dakota makes use of it landfill methane, it piped to a sunflower processing plant or it was twenty years ago.

    • All our organic waste is collected and digested by anaerobic methanogene bacteria which produce a lot of methane. That is partly (10%) used to warm up the digestors and the rest is used to produce power.
      The remainders are used as fertiliser…

  8. OK, what am I missing here, if you flare off natural gas (methane) it’s no longer methane.

    Besides all that, methane is not a problem. Neither is CO2 but I digress. Any reasonable projection of methane’s contribution to global warming by 2100 is less than a tenth of a degree (0.01C°). If anyone thinks it’s more than that, I’d like to see a link.

    As climate scams go, the Global Warming Potential numbers as found in all of the IPCC reports are probably the most egregious examples of mental slight of hand and misdirection ever produced.

  9. Tape? 2019?
    I use cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes,VHS and even microcassettes when I find a working player… (lifelong radio recordings…) But how many use a TAPE recorder for secret recordings…in 2019? And so it surfaces now, 2 months before the presidential election… NYT here we go again…

    • I think they were just using an old-style term for a digital audio recorder. Every smart phone has one built into the OS software.

      • Joel, of course I know that… But being born Swedish: the worst Besserwissers of them all, GT is a perfect example of that… We have the “Stockholm Syndrome” We should also have the “Nobel Syndrome” BTW you don’t happen to have an old Edison phonograph? I have an old roll “Hawiian” probably miss-spellt “Hawaiin”? AND if you use a phone and forget to put in flight-mode….

  10. If there is not a pipeline to put the gas into to get it to a customer, what can you do with it? Natural gas is always co-produced with oil, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. My friend is a middle manager for a company that makes and rents natural gas compressors for just this application. If your field is situated near a decent-sized power line, you could form a coop and everyone sends their gas (usually at low pressure at this point) to a small gas scrubber, then to a gas turbine to generate some electricity. Most big chemical facilities have a cogen unit that generates electricity and produces most of the steam needed for the facility using the hot exhaust from the turbine. The technology is there but the economics have to be as well for oil fields to adopt this.

    • This New York Times retard-reporter consistently attacks gas flaring in the Permian Basin…

      The Waha Hub is the benchmark natural gas price for the Permian Basin. Flaring is often the only economically viable option.

      • Drive on I-20 at night from Pecos to Odessa and you can’t even count of the all flaring that goes to the horizon. Even driving I-10 from Balmorrhea to Ozona and there’s quite few to see in the distance.
        On I-10 around mile marker 303 to 302 there is always a very strong H2S smell,strong enough to make you gag if the windows are down. That’s something that should be flaring to SO2 and isn’t Been that way for years.

    • Want to see some holes?
      go look at a cobalt, lithium or rare earths mine

      Your such a bloody troll, truly a symptom of a disease

      • Smell that rancid stench? Thats called the truth. That’s the symptom of the disease of the troll thats breathing down your neck.

        • That loydo believes the truth is rancid is not surprising, since he’s never had any relationship with any form of truth.

          That it admits to being a troll is surprising, I didn’t think it was capable of that much honesty.

    • Yes because “There’ll be food on the table tonight”, when you work out how to do that without the hole in the ground come back to us.

    • Someone should actually make a song about the Green New Deal, you know it would go something along the lines “I sat around playing X-Box all day waiting for my freebies and government cash payment to arrive”.

      • You can’t have your hairs done(*) but it doesn’t matter when you are watching Netflixxx all day…

        (*) unless your are third in line for “most powerful (wo)man in the world” and then you are tricked by a beauty salon

    • Maybe Peter Garett should change the “Blue Sky Mine” lyrics to describe how all the mine workers got wonderful new careers as renewable energy engineers.

      • “…o describe how all the mine workers got wonderful new careers as renewable energy engineers.”

        I thought Joe Biden said all of the miners should “learn to code”?

      • What a lovely thought…except they all died of asbestosis. Pity, would have been a much cheerier ending. But no, the business, just get on with it without them.

        • Once again, loydo demonstrates that when given a choice between truth and hateful lies, it will go with the lies every time.

    • Well Loydo, you Gaia disciples seem to have made a big shrine of Yellowstone.
      Millions of worshipers attend every year.
      That’s some “precious hole in the ground” right there!

    • Poor Loy,

      Cannot allow itself to use anything made from rock, metal of any sort, plastic, etc, etc……

      … or use any energy from gas, coal or nuclear

      Or is it just a TOTAL HYPOCRITE. !!

      Fact is, it’s whole life revolves around item that cam from holes in the ground.

      I think Loy has a hole in its head !.. Nothing therein, for sure.

    • When those holes are used to get something precious, that is true.
      BTW, are you paid extra to make a fool of yourself?

  11. Pat & LbB:
    The X-box comment gave me a flash thought: Loydo (and Griff ?) are “NPCs”.
    “Non player characters” in a video game that are run by the software so the
    human players have someone to interact with. In this case rile up the local
    WUWT particpants by playing devils advocate.
    Anthony you are very devious! But its so entertaining! LOL.
    [And I learn a bit of science along the way… so keep it up!]

  12. All refineries have flares. They are a safety valve. If something goes wrong with the flow of a refinery things can not be shut off in an instant. Rather than spill oil all over the ground they run it up the flare, where it burns off without making a mess.
    Flares usually burn light ends, c-1 and c-2 and the flame is almost invisible. When something pops, you get a large flame with smoke until things are gotten under control.

  13. Once again, green and oil are two sides of the same coin. For you all righty conspirators out there, let me ask you a question? How can your beloved New World World possibly be socialist? The only real possibility is socialism for the masses and capitalism for the higher ups. Lefty capitalism is still capitalism, you morons. All the red soldiers are just puppets.

  14. The idiot NYT don’t understand the difference between methane emissions, which is due to venting or leaks and relatively minor and the point of the regulations referred to in their article and flaring, which is to combust the methane and therefore release primarily CO2. Reporters really are clueless.

  15. The very same LUNATICS will fight with anything from protests to lawsuits – even sometimes sabotage – to prevent the building of new pipes, and then complain when products that can’t be transported are destroyed.

    Well of couse not all of these would be transported if opposition to pipes was non existant. (They don’t have ecoloon activists in the ME and they burn a lot of methane.)

    But opposition to pipes does NOT help. So they should SHAME themselves.

  16. The earliest official recording of Oil Executives stating they burn off the natural gas came from a time in which ink was used from metal quills on hammered paper.

    How the NYT has sunken so low as to produce and publish shit from ignorant 3 year olds is beyond me.

  17. Flaring’s always irritated me as a colossal waste – especially given current gas prices.

    If there was an obvious market solution, I’m sure the oil industry would have found it by now.

    If the busybodies really wanted to do something, they’d send some of these expensive ‘climate taxes’ we suffer back to the oilcos to help them capture it.

    But of course they don’t care & want all the taxes for themselves.

    • But if you can’t build pipes, even if you capture it, it’s hopeless.

      Anti-pipes people are everywhere.

      Case in point: the US gov is interfering with pipes being built in Europe. When was Trump elected World President? (And why no stronger push back? There was strong push back when a French bank, actually the subsidiary, broke US law in the US, was caught, lied about it, broke it again, lied again, and was punished (Société Générale aka SocGen) because applied US law is “imperialist” or something.)

      • I believe you are referring to Nordstream II. Trump is against for two very good reasons. First, Europe is doubling down on energy supplies from Russia (already a Nordstream I) which provides Russia’s only meaningful source of hard currency (oil and gas both). This allows Putin to upgrade his military and expand influence in the Middle East and Europe against the US strategic interests. Second, we have stationed troops in Europe for 75 years to protect Europe from The Soviet Union and then Russian all while the EU doesn’t meet it’s commitments for defense spending. So now they are increasing energy reliance and hard currency payments to Russia while expecting the US to station troops in Europe to protect Europe from Russia. Absolutely nuts and the reasons Trump is right on this one.

    • Nick

      You said, “If there was an obvious market solution, I’m sure the oil industry would have found it by now.” Not necessarily. Many people have trouble thinking outside of the box. That is, instead of realizing that they are in the business of making money, they think that they are only in the oil business.

      As an example, I once asked a sand and gravel company in California why they didn’t add a sluice box to their dredging machine. The manager’s answer was that they were not gold miners. They were in the aggregate business. So, in a sense, some of California’s roads are being paved with gold and platinum from Pleistocene river gravels because of the narrow view management had of what they were doing. Sometimes people do things because that’s the way it has always been done.

      • While I take you point, the fact is the oil companies are well aware that the gas can be a profitable commodity. If they could make money off of it, instead of “flaring” it, they would. As they do in locations where they can. Unfortunately not every location is conducive to making profitable use of that gas because the infrastructure is not available/would be too expensive or time consuming to set up (you try to get a pipeline permit, let alone try to build one, these days. see how much is costs you and how long it takes to get through the endless legal process).

  18. If they are flaring gas then they are not releasing methane – they are burning it. Duh! And what is all this nonsense about secret recordings. It is no secret that oil companies flare gas. They’ve been doing it as long as there has been an oil industry.

  19. Greg, you are late to the party. It is well known that methane has almost no GHG effects in the presence of water vapor. If there is no water vapor present, then it can be 20 times more powerful. But water vapor exists everywhere.

    This has been mentioned and corrected so many times it is getting tiresome. Why it keeps getting brought up over and over again is a question. Methane as a GHG should have died a long time ago.

  20. The fact that Ms Tabuchi doesn’t appear to grasp the difference between methane leaks and gas flaring suggests that she either (a) has no knowledge of elementary chemistry; or (b) is deliberately conflating things that she knows are fundamentally different in order to further the cause of greenery.

    Neither of these impediments to journalistic competence/integrity prevented her from being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, which is awarded for “for a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation.</i"

    She got it for being one of three authors of a piece on workplace atrocities at the Foxconn factory in China where they make all those shiny iPhones. So she does appear to have some ability to research and write, which makes it much more likely that she deliberately produces misinformation about the oil and gas industry.

    I'm so glad that I'm getting old. I won't have to listen to this rubbish much longer.

  21. I fess up to wearing flares once when I discovered at the last minute the ex GF had cut up the legs of my only pair of Saturday night going out duds and I had to wear a donated pair from a similar size pommy mate who was the fashion clotheshorse among us complete with cork Jesus boots would you believe. Thankfully no social media and going viral at the time and it was as close as I got to understanding what women go through to earn a bloke’s approval. The weaker sex be damned and I had to marry her because I figured she was better as an ally than an enemy so don’t mess with my missus. Feisty aint the half of it and keeps a bloke on his toes and in form for lefties.

  22. I know, this is OT but…sometimes things rally burn this old fire chief’s a$$.

    BLM Arsonist caught setting fires in Washington State…(yet the state say’s no BLM arsonists caused wildfires and forced the Oregon Fire Marshal to resign for no specified reason).

    BLM Arsonist arrested setting fires in Washington State.
    https://bigleaguepolitics.com/convicted-blm-rioter-arrested-for-arson-in-washington-as-massive-wildfires-blaze/

    Local Washington law enforcement had confirmed to area citizens that the government suspected human involvement in several wildfires in the area.

  23. Oregon Fire Marshal ousted by Oregon State Police… For doing his job (while OSP let antifa/blm burn the place down).

    Didn’t do anything wrong’: Oregon Fire Marshal explains resignation

    PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Fire Marshal Jim Walker was placed on paid administrative leave Saturday. Then just hours later, he resigned, according to the Oregon State Police.

    OSP did not immediately provide a reason for Walker’s departure. However, Walker spoke with KOIN 6 News Saturday evening during which he said he was placed on leave by OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton after trying to help a co-worker whose family was missing in a fire zone.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.koin.com/news/wildfires/oregon-fire-marshal-put-on-leave-ruiz-temple-appointed/amp/

  24. I was maybe 6 when we lived near a refinery. I was fascinated by all the pipes and tanks. I saw a flame at the end of a tall pipe and asked my father, “What’s that.” The answer (he was a shoe salesman at the time) oh, that’s just unwanted gases being burned.”

    You’ve gotta be pretty ill informed (or a resident of NYC) to think that’s some major hidden secret.

  25. Ummm… yes… having spent 32 years as an environmental advisor in the oil industry from exploration to retail… it’s pretty standard altho steps are being taken to reduce Flaring and capture the off gas It’s not always possible

    • Michael
      And, the organic material in the landfill results in methane being produced, which finds its way into the atmosphere.

  26. “leaks of natural gas, a major contributor to climate change.”

    Shouldn’t that be:
    “leaks of natural gas, that experts agree is a major contributor to climate change.”

  27. “leaks of natural gas, a major contributor to climate change”

    Is it considered as major as all the CO2 emissions from China?

  28. “I suspect some big companies would love to keep as many onerous Obama era rules as possible, to keep profit margins high…”

    You always have to read between the lines with Big Biz Big Gummint and Big Union and now add Big Greening –

    Headline: ‘UK must become global leader in tackling climate crisis, says CBI’
    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/uknews/uk-must-become-global-leader-in-tackling-climate-crisis-says-cbi/ar-BB18ZQIE
    Who the Hell are the CBI? Oh you mean this Confederation of British Industry-

    “The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is a UK business organisation, which in total claims to speak for 190,000 businesses,[1] this is made up of around 1,500 direct members and 188,500 non-members. The non members are represented through the 140 trade associations within the confederation, whose separate and individual memberships the CBI claims to also to speak for. Trade Association member companies, are not directly consulted or involved in CBI’s policy formulation. The National Farmers’ Union with its 55,000 members is the largest component of the 188,500 non-members the CBI claims to speak for. The Country Land and Business association brings another 30,000 non-members, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed 20,000 non-members, the Freight Transport Association 13,000, the Federation of Master Builders 9,500, the Road Haulage Association 8,100 and the National Federation of Builders 1,400.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_of_British_Industry
    Yeah I’m sure they’re all right behind you and the 1500 old hippy CEOs there Carolyn.

  29. I suspect some big companies would love to keep as many onerous Obama era rules as possible, to keep profit margins high by messing up the ability of smaller independents to undercut big companies by delivering cheap fuel to customers.

    Indeed. Big businesses like onerous rules that make it harder for smaller competitors to compete and/or enter the market. It’s job security for them.

  30. At this rate they will be the next ones to slip into the hospital rooms of retired oil execs for deathbed Q&A.

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