Flawed Fracking Data Hinders Drilling Monitoring
A lack of data and unreliable estimates on air pollution coming from oil and natural gas companies is inhibiting the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate the drilling boom, according to the agency's internal watchdog.
The estimates the EPA currently has are of “questionable quality,” according to Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr.
"With limited data, human health risks are uncertain, states may design incorrect or ineffective emission control strategies, and EPA's decisions about regulating industry may be misinformed," Elkins said in a statement.
There are currently an upwards of 25,000 wells being fracked every year thanks to the natural gas boom. Under the current administration, natural gas production has been expanded, but the EPA's regulation has taken a backseat.
Last year, the EPA issued the first standards to control smog- and soot- forming gases from gas well sites, updated existing rules to reduce toxic emissions. In response, the agency has committed to developing a comprehensive strategy to improve its pollution figures, but a report has yet to be revealed to America's Natural Gas Alliance.
Oil and gas companies continue to argue that they are already working on reducing pollution without the agency's help, who they believe has grossly overestimated emissions of methane.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.