Biden Inflation Act Provides the EPA New Weapons to Pursue their Climate Change Jihad

Essay by Eric Worrall

Think Gasoline is expensive now? From 2024, US Oil and gas companies will face impossible operating conditions, with the US EPA promising to impose a $900 / ton methane release fee, rising to $1500 per ton by 2026.

Methane supercharges climate change. The U.S. has a new plan to slash it.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. can make the oil and gas sector pay for methane leaks—but the law leaves out a controversial source of the pollutant.


The Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant investment the U.S. government has made in fighting climate change, putting more than $369 billion toward projects that will reduce planet-warming emissions. 

Cutting the amount of methane released into the atmosphere is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fight climate change, according to a U.N. report released last year. 

What the new bill does

Environmentalists have long advocated for placing a fee on greenhouse gas emissions, and addressing methane ultimately could save oil and gas companies money, says Shindell. When CO2 is released, it’s a byproduct of burning fossil fuels and no longer valuable to companies. Methane, however, is still in a viable form when it leaks out of oil and gas facilities; if it could be captured it could be used for energy. That means preventing leaks would save companies money. 

To address domestic methane emissions, the IRA will impose a $900 fee per metric ton of methane starting in 2024. By 2026, that fee per metric ton increases to $1,500. Notably, the fee will only affect larger oil and gas facilities, leaving out about 60 percent of the industries responsible for methane, Kleinberg estimates. 

The EPA is set to publish updated methane regulations early next year. These rules will dictate the point at which methane emissions from a single facility are subject to the fee. 

Read more:

Obviously the USA has a few opportunities to vote for politicians who will repeal the misleadingly named Biden Inflation Act, before these punitive penalties are imposed.

Methane release is a fact of life if you run an oil or gas facility, there is no avoiding it. But the threat of major penalties is an enormous operational risk, which will have to be insured – a substantial and completely unnecessary addition to operational costs, which will be passed on to consumers.

It is impossible to stop methane leaks altogether. Gas pipes crack unexpectedly from time to time because unrefined hydrocarbons embrittle the pipe metal. Rigorous inspection helps, but at any moment a very small, overlooked defect can abruptly propagate right through the pipe wall, leading to many tons of product gushing through the crack before the problem is noticed. The problem cannot be eliminated – but attempting to minimise the problem will impose enormous costs on producers.

In my opinion this methane leak penalty is a punitive tax created by people who want to sabotage the entire domestic US hydrocarbon extraction industry, but haven’t got the balls to come clean and simply shut it down.

Even the possibility such penalties could be imposed will have a chilling effect on domestic US oil and gas investment, which in turn could put further upward pressure on gasoline and home heating prices.

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August 20, 2022 2:08 pm

Death by a thousand cuts.

Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 2:28 pm

This proposed EPA action is based on easily shown VERY bad ‘science’.

In the lab, in a standardized completely dry atmosphere, methane is 86 times more potent GHG than CO2. BUT in the real world where specific humidity averages about 2% (range much less than 1 Sahara, Antarctica) to more than 4 (tropics)) it is not a GHG at all. It’s IR absorption bands are completely overlapped (hence smothered) by water vapor. This is just a Biden EPA attack on oil and gas production.

Same is true for ruminant produced methane. Irrelevant in the real world. Just an attack on beef and dairy by vegans and global warming idiots. I note in passing that a Venn diagram of those two sets of people shows a significant subset are both. And a subset of that subset are the ones who now superglue themselves to things in protest. Best we let them just stay glued that way rather than use acetone(fingernail polish remover in its pure form) to unglue them.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 2:56 pm

I believe that the most logical explanation for regulations such as this, is to cripple domestic energy production.

Joao Martins
Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2022 2:58 am

Yes. As a means to turn reality that infamous report from the “Club of Rome ” Limits to Growth (1972).

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 3:40 pm

This is the correct analysis. Methane is an irrelevant greenhouse gas.

Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
August 20, 2022 4:48 pm

“In the lab, in a standardized completely dry atmosphere, methane is 86 times more potent GHG than CO2…”

I shake my head in disbelief that the tests were run in completely dry atmosphere when everyone should know that water vapor is the most potent and highest concentration greenhouse gas and overlapping spectral absorptions are important for evaluating incremental changes to the atmosphere. Did this “standardized dry atmosphere” also exclude other green house gasses?? What a scientific farce to exaggerate the greenhouse potency of incremental methane!!

Reply to  RelPerm
August 21, 2022 8:29 am

You would normally want to isolate whatever it is you are studying. The problem is making improper conclusions from an abstract test condition to a real world atmosphere.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 4:41 pm

The more things change, the more they stay the same. During the
Glow-Bull Cooling Scare > 50 yrs ago, they were already using a
manufactured climate crises with baseless predictions to justify
destructive Commie policies & regulations, like banning ICE &
“sacrificing democracy” to destroy the West. Same stuff,
different day!

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 4:41 pm

“It’s IR absorption bands are completely overlapped (hence smothered) by water vapor”

except above above 9 or 10km.

But, but whattabout my cheeseburgers?

Richard M
Reply to  Loydo
August 20, 2022 6:37 pm

Above 9 km we have a decreasing density and a well mixed gas. IOW, no warming is possible. The flow if IR must be upward and out to space. Any increase in methane would cool the planet.

Reply to  Loydo
August 20, 2022 7:56 pm

CH4 is a negligible IR absorber and irrelevant to the heat budget.

Martin C
Reply to  Loydo
August 20, 2022 10:26 pm

REALLY, “loy DORK” ? ! ? 9 or 10 KM up ? at about 29,500 to 32,800 feet, where airlines typically fly, (yes, i know some of the airlines flight levels are higher than this); at temperatures of -45 degrees F or lower?

Where atmospheric pressure is less than 30% that of sea level, and less going higher in altitude? And that is supposed to be ‘important’ in the IR band for water vapor, compared to the greater atmospheric mass below this?

I just have to take this as your ignorance, or maybe you are just trolling; i just can’t believe you are actually this stup!d to make this as an argument . . .

Reply to  Martin C
August 21, 2022 3:58 am

Read up on Effective Radiation Level (ERL) then get back to me.

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2022 8:48 am

That is defined as the level at which IR can likely escape without further absorption. At which point GHG are simply aiding radiation emissions to space.

What matters is what happens below that level if you are concerned about GHG increasing the IR opacity of the atmosphere.

What is your point ?

Reply to  Greg
August 21, 2022 2:05 pm

“What matters is what happens below that level…”

Nop, that is just the level above which more than 50% is radiated to space. It’s not like its some kind of threshhold above which nothing impedes out-going IR.

You want to split hairs with my comment but give disinformative tripe like this:

“IR absorption bands are completely overlapped (hence smothered) by water vapor…”


“methane… it is not a GHG at all.”

a free pass. Not a peep. But how is that some like Istvan can be posting on this site for years, reading posts here for years but still post deniar drivel like this? Is he misinformed, lying or both?

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2022 3:14 am

What’s the most important greenhouse gas, Loydo?

Reply to  Redge
August 21, 2022 3:52 am

In the lower troposhere H2O. Above about 9km CO2.

Is CH4 a GHG?

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2022 3:53 am

Is CH4 a GHG?


Where do we live?

Reply to  Redge
August 21, 2022 2:10 pm

“yes” Ch4 is a GHG.

“Where do we live?” Completely irrelevant to it’s GHG effect. See my post above. I ask you how does this disinformation and wilful ignorance persist amongst the readers of the “world’s most viewed site on global warming”? I’ll tell you: design.

Martin C
Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2022 3:45 pm

The discussion wasn’t the ‘green house effect’, it was about methane; and at less than 2 PPM, its effect WHERE WE LIVE is irrelevant, and as noted, swamped by water vapor.

The the ERL wasn’t part of this either, regardless of what the ‘best’ greenhouse gas at that elevation in the atmosphere is. The ERL wasn’t relative to the discussion about water vapor or methane and where their greatest effect is – you know, down at the surface of the earth, where OLR BEGINS it’s journey. The ERL is irrelevant to that.

And your trying to put your ‘spin’ on the discussion is typical for an ignorant dork ( . . mods, feel free to delete this last statement if you are so inclined. I am not . .).

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 4:59 pm

Scientific reality has no relevance for government.

Reply to  roaddog
August 22, 2022 8:24 am

Reality has no relevance in government science.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 5:06 pm

Rud you have nailed it .
Methane is irrelevant in the real world but these Greens are not in the real world.
The people pushing for more expensive energy seem to have no idea how any countries economy’s function .
Every thing that matters to mankind in the present world depends on energy .
Food ,housing clothing ,medical ,education and transport for a start .
Then there is heating and cooling of living quarters and work places before every thing else that is manufactured to make our lives much better than 60 years ago .
Expensive energy impacts on every thing and every one except maybe millionaires.
The attack on methane from farmed live stock was initiated at the Kyoto Accord in 1987 by activists and is the biggest scam in this gigantic scam of climate change .
It has been stated many times here that enteric methane is a closed cycle and not one atom of carbon or molecule containing carbon is added to the atmosphere .
As you state above Rud water vapour completely overlaps the IR absorption band widths and methane breaks down in the upper atmosphere in 8 to ten years .
Co2 is a plant food NOT A POLLUTANT as it is essential to all life on earth and all plants and trees absorb CO2.
I am quite sure that rising CO2 levels have helped feed the massive poulation increase in the last 80 years .
Livestock consume the fodder grown by photosynthesis and produce milk meat and also wool ,cashmere and leather which are manufactured into the most sustainable clothing in the world along side cotton .
I agree with Mark W that these regulations are a plan to cripple modern civilization, because that will be the result if this is allowed to happen .

Reply to  Graham
August 20, 2022 9:42 pm

Remember: YOU are the carbon they want to reduce.

oeman 50
Reply to  Graham
August 21, 2022 6:31 am

They will start charging you a quarter for every time you pass gas.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 5:43 pm

The fumes from the acetone would be an unnecessary risk to humanity.

Reply to  RobK
August 20, 2022 10:17 pm

not if you ignite them at source to avoid them getting anywhere near humanity

Reply to  H B
August 20, 2022 11:38 pm

I was thinking the same thing – for the methane leaks that they can burn off safely.

Isn’t there a way to sue when gov’t regulations are BS?

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 10:11 pm

Any idiot that glues themselves to any thing does not deserve acetone just rip it off stuff the pain the skin will grow back eventually

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 3:38 am

Methane is bubbling up from the ocean floor all over the world. That’s why we have hydrate rings on our mud mats and even then, we sometimes have to jump the ROV to eliminate the hydrate ice with methanol.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 7:52 am

Rud : Harvesting methane hydrates from the sea floor.
Have you, or anyone ever considered weather it would be economical to lower a large dia. caisson from a double “drill string” drill ship to the ocean floor. Then pump heated water into the caisson and separate the upcoming return fluid; then use the NG to heat the sea water and recycle. Then lift and move; the less dense sea water would tend to remain in the caisson. Most hydrates are found in the 1,000 to 10,000 foot depths especially the north Pacific. The temp of the temp pressure gradient at depth requires little temp change to effect melting as would small changes in pressure. Don’t laugh just say no to an old wire line guy.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 21, 2022 11:04 am

Hi Rud – Can you point at a paper or other source? I’ve long asked where this 86X number comes from, even ignoring the overlap with water vapour, I don’t understand how it could possibly be that high.

Mark BLR
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 22, 2022 5:03 am

Can you point at a paper or other source?

Apologies for “jumping in”, and Rud may well come back with some better sources later, but for the IPCC this is covered in the AR6 WG-I report’s section 7.6.1, “Physical Description of Metrics”, from pages 1012 to 1017, culminating in Table 7.15 (coped below).

See also the “Supplementary Material” PDF file for chapter 7, especially section 7.SM.5.1, “Definitions of climate metrics”, which provides various equations for calculating GWP and (C)GTP values.

August 20, 2022 2:58 pm

Well, maybe Big Corp should not have engaged in the empty moral preening of “concern for climate change” & diversification into “renewable” energy. They didn’t fight when it was still possible. And they were too willing to lobby for a portion of the crony capitalist “renewable” subsidies.

All along the way, the people with the power to stop this lobbied instead for their piece of the corruption.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  tgasloli
August 20, 2022 3:43 pm

‘They didn’t fight when it was still possible.’

It’s still possible, but unfortunately they’re also still cowards. Just think how a very modestly funded ad campaign might have given the populace some hard facts to counter the left’s bogus CAGW propaganda.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
August 20, 2022 6:32 pm

Don’t you hear what you are saying? Don’t you know that everyone besides you here at WUWT has been cashing regular paychecks from”Big Oil” for years? Well, that’s what Naomi Oreskes says.

Reply to  Pflashgordon
August 20, 2022 9:30 pm


Don’t know about anyone else here cashing checks from big oil, but for last 60 years of my time here on Earth I have been paying “big oil” lottsa $$$ so I could drive my car or a friend’s car to work and on trips when time permitted.

So I assume “flash” forgot the “/sarc” tag.

Gums sends…

Reply to  Gums
August 20, 2022 11:40 pm

The last line of his comment was the dead giveaway that it was sarcasm.

Smart Rock
August 20, 2022 3:24 pm

There’s an important question: how will they determine the quantity of leaked methane to impose the fee on?

The “carbon tax” that we in Canada are starting to pay is at least simple to calculate. It’s based on the quantity of oil, gas or fuel produced, transported, or sold.

Basing a fee on methane leaks raises the possibility that “they” will arbitrarily decide how much methane has leaked from “your” wells, pipelines, refineries etc. and hence, the amount of the methane fee “you” will have to pay. Virtually impossible to challenge. Possibly unconstitutional?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 20, 2022 3:50 pm

A fee on deemed methane leakage reminds me of an old IRS joke, i.e., ‘How much did you make last year?’ => ‘Send it in’.

Coach Springer
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
August 21, 2022 5:37 am

+ 15% penalty

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Coach Springer
August 21, 2022 6:18 pm

‘+ 15% penalty’

Good catch, Coach! If, for any reason, you should find your current ‘gig’ somewhat lacking, rest assured that you have a promising future as an IRS agent under the Biden administration, assuming, of course, that your marksmanship skills are up to snuff.

Reply to  Smart Rock
August 20, 2022 6:48 pm

Those 86,000 new govt employees will not just be sitting behind desks.

They will be subjectively assessing & collecting fees as well as taxes.

Reply to  DonM
August 20, 2022 7:47 pm

They will know they have to pay their salary through fines….just like policemen ”don’t” have speeding ticket quotas….

Richard Page
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 21, 2022 6:26 am

They have an algorithm – it will provide a very precise figure of methane leakage, from which they will work out a revenge tax! sarc

August 20, 2022 3:41 pm

I just wish the current administration and its entrenched bureaucratic minions would quit lying to us that they are doing everything the can to lower fuel and energy prices. It’s insulting.

I’d rather they just come right out and say, “You will be stuck in one place with no food and no heat, and you will like it.”

But nooo… There are enough rubes out there buying their lies, so they’ll keep at it, hoping that the bulk of the population never catches on and the regime finds itself in deep doo-doo.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2022 4:29 pm

Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you.

Are you forgetting, “You will own nothing and be happy”? And the idea that the ideal population is 500 million or so? Agenda 21 with everyone packed into walkable cities?

The push for renewables IMO is precisely because it is known that they will fail to power our society. Why do the PTB have to lie about it? It’s not like they weren’t warned about it by the woke and onside google engineering team. Who talks about that besides us?

BBB implies everything must be destroyed, else why build back and why build back better?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 21, 2022 3:17 am

I can’t make up my mind…

It’s the latter ideally with just enough peasants to cater for the whims of the elite, but no more

Richard Page
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 21, 2022 6:31 am

My take on this is that they really do want to whip and beat the hydrocarbon producers until they pack up shop and move somewhere else. At which point the US dimwits-in-charge will point at said hydrocarbon producers, screaming: “see, we told you all that they were to blame, that it was all their fault.” God only knows what the rest of us will be doing by this point but still.

August 20, 2022 4:00 pm

Sadly, the opposition party has a dismal record of eliminating bad legislation.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  max
August 20, 2022 4:51 pm

Which is why the ‘do nothing’ team usually loses to the ‘free stuff’ team.

David A
August 20, 2022 4:10 pm

What emergency are they addressing?

And what is going on here n Antarctica?
Never seen it so cold

It doesn't add up...
August 20, 2022 4:29 pm

Whilst there are clearly risks with sudden leaks, I guess the best solution is to set fire to them: indeed most oil and gas installations have a flare that does just that, reducing the penalty to a much lower CO2 tax.

Looking at reported methane emissions at various point sources in the UK I found typical figures for an offshore platform of 1-400 tonnes per year, perhaps 1,000 for a major onshore gas processing facility, although major CCGT plants, LNG regas terminals and refineries come in at under 100 tonnes. Sometimes well under. It looks like more of a nuisance for paperwork filing with a costly fee rather than being completely debilitating. 1 ton of methane is ~50MMBtu, so $1,500/ton is about $30/MMBtu, which is only 10% of the price reached during the great Texas freeze in 2021, and about a third the current prices in Europe.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 21, 2022 4:51 am

No not forgetting: see my first sentence. Of course we have a recent example at Freeport LNG. I’d be arguing the fireball emitted CO2, not CH4. I expect the EPAand others will be all over Cheniere looking for regulation breeches and fines. Take a look at this saga

Will they make gas more expensive for Europe? Bet on it.

The main point of my post was to assess what the impact would be on normal operations of various kinds of plant: production, treatment, refining, CCGT.

Danley Wolfe
August 20, 2022 4:45 pm

I am not clear on the methane emissions from oil recovery and refining.. gas recover is clear. Methane leaks in gas recover and transmissions have been a high high priority for many years and a lot of improvements have been made. If the tolerance is zero emissions tell it to teh Russians who have blown up natural gas lines in Ukraine left rigjht and upside down.. probably causing decades of emissions in otherwise normal conditions. Cutting emissions (of all types) in refineries is a solvable problem if there is indeed still a problem … there are leak detection devices all over modern refineries … probably refineries that need to do better … ok fine them, they’ll install B.A.T. detectors. Biden admin doesn’t understand and furthermore don’t care… they want to do whatever to control us expecting our gratitude in return. Greens are stupid re anything technical. !!!!.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 21, 2022 4:55 am

Mostly they try to use it as fuel.

Paul C
August 20, 2022 6:21 pm

Perhaps industry will be able to obtain methane credits by draining wetlands. Degrading wildlife habitat seems to be a small price to pay tor reducing marsh gas emissions. A bounty on termites could provide further opportunities for offsets. As for Unicorn farts …. oh, but don’t you need a virgin to entice a unicorn into captivity?

Reply to  Paul C
August 20, 2022 8:22 pm

Aye, there’s the rub, Paul. Where do you get virgins nowadays?

When is the last time anyone has seen a unicorn? I rest my case.

Richard Page
Reply to  H.R.
August 21, 2022 6:34 am

Unicorn? You do know that was a PR job by Rhino fanciers, don’t you?

CD in Wisconsin
August 20, 2022 6:24 pm

Let the economic downfall (and eventual collapse?) begin. As I have always said, humanity’s biggest problem is its own ignorance.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
August 20, 2022 7:32 pm

Thomas Sowell- It is usually futile to talk facts and analysis to people who
are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance.

“Socialism, in general, has a record of failure so blatant that only an
intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

August 20, 2022 7:12 pm

Isn’t methane in the atmosphere measured in parts per billion? What is the human amount released vs the natural amount? Does it matter?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2022 10:31 pm

IIRC FF are <2% of the total methane. The major sources are wetlands, cattle, soil bacteria, landfills, rice production, & wastewater treatment  
Here is recent article: [June 2021];

Clearly, the new Biden poliy is just another way to hobble the oil/gas industry even while they castigate those same companies for not producing more. These politicians have utter contempt for the voters since they must think we are too stupid to catch-on to their hypocracy.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  B Zipperer
August 21, 2022 5:06 am

Take a look here

Use the menu to set Methane, and review the various sectors. Leaky old gas pipes in major cities and agriculture top the lists, landfills produce local concentrations. Set the point sources which will show offshore platforms as well as the landfills and industrial sources and click on markers for details.

Bjarne Bisballe
August 20, 2022 8:15 pm

Every day 1.65 megatons of methane are emittet from nature and human sources but only 0.05 megatons of it is in the atmosphere the next day. In a year 600 megatons are emitted and only 20 megatons of it stays – 0,007 ppm, each ppm 30 times stronger than CO2 as greenhousegas, equivalent to 0.21 ppm CO2.

August 20, 2022 8:49 pm

I’ve found that most people are clueless to the fact that after 1933 under FDR’s “New Deal” America has piece of legislation to piece of legislation for decades under both Democrats and Republicans become an Economic Fascism (Corporatism) America and you can include that into just about every country in their own ways are today. It is false that Fascism requires a “Dictator” when a congress or parliament can legislate the ideologies of Fascism. Fascism was always an Economic Methodology for funding government off of industries to small business owners by means of taxation, subsidizing winners to create losers, along with burdensome regulations, standards, licensing, tariffs, duties, fees and permits as means of taxation that is passed to the consumers as the prices they pay for products or services they require, want or need or mandated to have by laws and regulations set by the government. Every time some new burden is created by the state, it increases the cost of production that increases the individuals cost of living, that more taxes are collected at different levels of the government. Subsidies to businesses for spending on products – like solar panels – creates revenue as taxes, well as employment increases that creates more individual income taxes collected as revenue, new energy is needed in the creation for the solar panels that is taxed for government revenue, and so on… = Corporatism.

Quite simply the Death of “Capitalism” as Marx termed our Free Market Enterprise began in America under “The New Deal” and the Frog has been incrementally boiled to death, because once precedents are set by legislation that goes unchallenged in the courts, it allows the government to keep pushing those limits to do new things. Even the most Conservative (Classical Liberals) have voted to allow legislation that should have been stopped. But it’s worse when a political party has a controlling majority to overrule the other party like happened during the 12 years of FDR’s “New Deal” reign, LBJ’s 8 years of “The Great Society” with all its Socialist Programs during the “Oil Embargo” and the birth of “Alternative Energy” to Obama’s “Fundamental Changes” first 2 years of “Obama Care” that infected the whole country in more ways than healthcare costs increases, subsidizing of “Green Energy” and “Open Borders”

Richard Page
Reply to  JOHN CHISM
August 21, 2022 6:38 am

One indicator of fascism has often been a lack of choice or alignment between political parties.

August 20, 2022 8:55 pm

These people are going to find the peasants with pitchforks lining them up against stone walls.

Richard Page
Reply to  spren
August 21, 2022 6:42 am

No, just no. The stone wall is necessary for a firing squad; if you have pitchforks you don’t need the stone wall. If the peasants don’t know that difference then they’re not likely to be lining anybody up, stone wall or no.

David Solan
August 21, 2022 3:11 am

   Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is an icy world whose atmosphere is
nitrogen (about 95%) and methane (about 5%, at least at its surface), with
small amounts of many other carbon-rich compounds, many of which form a
Sun-obscuring golden haze. No one has any idea where that methane is coming
from, but its presence has been confirmed by various measurements, including
direct measurements by spacecraft visiting Titan. And it is exactly the same
methane we have here in our atmosphere. That 5% methane is usually belittled
as “small amounts mixed with mostly nitrogen” by most woke, climate-change
intellectuals nowadays because they don’t want anyone’s brain to get worked
up about it too much (but notice that that’s not how they treat CO2 in our
atmosphere at 0.04%). In any event, let’s start to think about that 5%
methane in Titan’s prodigious atmosphere, since United States authorities are
beginning to make such a fuss about it here in earth’s atmosphere (at parts
per billion), and to think about its potential to warm Titan by the putative
“Greenhouse Effect” [GHE].

   Titan is about three times colder than the earth on the Kelvin scale and
that means it has about three times more molecules per unit volume of
atmosphere than the earth has at the same pressure. But its pressure is
actually more than 1½ times that of earth’s and its atmosphere, as an
approximation, is about 4 times thicker than the earth’s (due to its lower
gravity). This gives an overall factor of about 18:1 in terms of the number
of molecules in its atmosphere any radiation would have to go through to pass
from two places in its atmosphere compared to that same radiation passing
from the same two equivalent places in the earth’s atmosphere. And we will
assume, from this approximation, that it is those individual gaseous
molecules that are the culprit in any global warming scenario invented in the
minds of the Greenhouse Effect global warming geniuses.

   Furthermore, according to various Greenhouse Effect aficionados, gases
like methane have “Global Warming Potential” [GWP] equivalents to CO2 in our
(or any other world’s) atmosphere that can be given a numerical value.
Methane’s GWP is 25. That raises that ratio to 450:1, again assuming it’s
the molecules and their properties doing the “global warming” through the
GHE. And, at 5% presence in Titan’s atmosphere, the ratio of molecules of
methane versus molecules of CO2 goes up, just from this increased
concentration, and as far as the GWP is concerned, to 5:0.04, or 125:1, which
makes the total ratio of methane’s GWP on Titan relative to CO2’s GWP on
Earth 56000:1! I guess the temperature of Titan must be around 10,000°F,
right? Not quite.

   It doesn’t help to point out the reduced heating effect of the Sun on
Titan’s surface. Sunlight’s energy, per unit area, irradiating the upper
atmosphere of Titan is 100 times less than earth’s and the satellite’s haze,
let’s say, reduces that heating effect another tenfold (this is generous,
since that haze would not be expected to block longwave infrared radiation
very much, either going up or going down, and that is precisely the type of
radiation that is supposed to be the chief culprit in the GHE). So that’s
still 56:1 greater GHE warming on Titan than Earth, just from the methane
molecules in its atmosphere. Tilt! Maybe we can get Dominion Voting Systems
to work on this.

Arrhenius and Al Gore were wrong. It’s not that methane is not a greenhouse
gas. Nothing is a greenhouse gas and for some of the sort-of-same reasons
that some previous contributors mentioned above about methane in particular.
But, as far as the “overlap” with water vapor absorption lines is concerned,
it cannot happen on Titan because it doesn’t have any water vapor in its
atmosphere to begin with. And notice, it still doesn’t have a Greenhouse
Effect. We have nothing to fear from the Greenhouse Global Warming Effect of
methane here on Earth as the Titanians need not fear it on their world, even
without water, nor do either of us nor any other LGM [little green men] have
to worry about any other gas in our atmospheres in this respect.

David Solan

The Real Engineer
Reply to  David Solan
August 21, 2022 9:23 am

Here is an interesting experiment I would like to try, because it completely demonstrates the lack of a “greenhouse effect”. Carbon dioxide (or any other alleged GHG) is supposed to prevent certain wavelengths traveling in some direction but not another by a curious mechanism which is never explained. Radiation from a source travels quite happily towards the Earth but is prevented doing so in the opposite direction by some piece of thermodynamics which is not in my textbooks (I am an Engineer, I have a lot of books). Gases have absorption bands which I can measure quite happily, but if I do this for a long time the gas must get noticeably hot, as the energy leaving is less than that incident on the sample. Strangely this does not happen.

I have also seen the false experiment some idiot did on the internet, and a couple of fairly good ones which show no effect. Curiously a lot of people believe the false science and refuse to believe the correct science. I conclude that this must be because they hated science at school, as there seems to be no other explanation possible, except possibly that they consider they are green and life the Earth is about to end. Does anyone understand this? /sarc

The Real Engineer
Reply to  The Real Engineer
August 21, 2022 9:41 am

A note in case you don’t understand why the gas doesn’t get hot. The absorption is measured with a source of wideband “heat”, and measured by a detector which has a narrow field of view through the sample, the detector being a spectrometer which measures each frequency separately. The heat excites the absorption band of the gas which then re-radiates the energy in all directions, most of which misses the narrow view of the detector, and only a little goes towards the source. The same happens in the atmosphere, sun heat comes towards the Earth at a narrow angle, excites the GHG and the energy is radiated out in all directions. The same for the heat from the Earth, it is radiated back to Earth (~50%) and into space (~50%). The Earth heat may make a number of trips, but the quantity falls exponentially at about the speed of light. Essentially there is zero “storage” of heat anywhere. Note that the Earth temperature remains constant through the process, heat loss = heat supplied, and once the sun goes down the temperature falls quite rapidly, which it wouldn’t if there was any significant delay in the atmospheric process.

Malcolm Chapman
August 21, 2022 3:42 am

I enjoyed the bit about methane:

“if it could be captured it could be used for energy. That means preventing leaks would save companies money”

A wonderland of ignorance opens up there, of the relationship between physics and money.

paul courtney
Reply to  Malcolm Chapman
August 21, 2022 4:17 am

Mr. Chapman: Indeed, a vast wonderland.

Gunga Din
August 21, 2022 5:43 am

Are they only targeting oil and gas industries?
From home septic systems to municipal wastewater systems with anaerobic digesters, methane is released. (Some of the later is burned off but not all of it.)
Can we also expect water/wastewater bills to increase? Fines for home septic tanks?
Is it legal to target only one industry?

Coach Springer
August 21, 2022 5:47 am

The political strategy is to strangle fossils slowly – force us off of them. They’ve got the “balls” alright. But it’s physically, economically and politically impossible to just close everything down at once.

tim d neumayer
August 21, 2022 7:49 am

obama spent 8 years building his civilian police force. Biden is arming them. wake up america!

Gunga Din
Reply to  tim d neumayer
August 21, 2022 12:43 pm

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the Obama Administration has signaled a complete disregard for skyrocketing gas prices to skyrocket. In 2008, the Wall Street Journal noted that Chu “has called for gradually ramping up gasoline taxes over 15 years to coax consumers into buying more-efficient cars and living in neighborhoods closer to work.”

“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” said Chu.

From here.

Trump interrupted the timetable. Brandon’s handlers are making up for lost time.
(With a brief pause before the midterms.)

August 21, 2022 8:25 am

Well that sure ain’t going to reduce inflation.

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