Today's @Ben_Geman generate shows that #methane venting and flaring in TX and ND reached record highs in 2019.

This has serious implications for the lifecycle GHG emissions of natural gas power plants. US average leakage rate masks a lot of variation. 1/…
So, Alan Strayer - UG student in our lab, painstakingly traced gas flow from production basins to power plants to estimate state-specific leakage rates.

US avg. leak rate is ~2%, but states in the Midwest/SW have far higher leakage while states in NE/SE are lower. 2/ Image
Part of this is because of high venting/flaring as @Ben_Geman reports, in the Permian & Bakken basins, but also Canadian imports.

Looking at power plants by state, we see that states in MW/SW have higher emissions intensity than plants in the NE. 3/ Image
If we use national average leakage rates in model, then we'll under(over) estimate emissions at the state-level. Figures show deviation compared to using national average leakage rates - most NE states have lower impact while MW/SW states have higher impact. 4/ Image
This is important because *where* we do coal-to-gas switching matters.

Switching coal plants in the midwest to gas is not going to give you as much emissions reductions as expected, while it's a good option in the NE/SE. 5/ Image
This is all preliminary data that was just presented at AGU. So, feedback, questions, and comments are all welcome. /End

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More from @arvindpawan1

13 Oct
Folks citing direct employment numbers in the gas industry in PA to suggest Biden is wrong on his "no fracking ban" policy don't get the ecosystem of people in these communities. It's not just a job - it's family, it's small businesses, & entire communities that will be affected.
I have been in these towns, I collect data in these towns, & it's not hard to see how entire community revolves around an industry.

It's not just a job, it's a way of life.

To suggest that it's only 10K jobs or votes is patronizing, elitist, reductive, and importantly, wrong.
I am one of the few in this country to engage with this issue intellectually while also forging a personal connection with these towns & workers.

And I have come to understanding their perspective, their hopes & challenges, and how we should really talk about energy transition.
Read 6 tweets
14 Jan
🚨New Paper Alert🚨In a first study of this kind, we *empirically* show that leak detection and repair programs - a common methane policy tool - are indeed effective at reducing emissions over many years of implementation. We also found a few surprises. 1/… Image
First, emissions reduced by 44% between two LDAR surveys conducted over a period of 0.5 - 2 years from the initial survey.

Compare this to EPA (or other state policy) assumptions that annual surveys reduce leaks by 40%. Pretty close. But, note I said emissions, not leaks. 2/ Image
Important context:

Methane emissions consists of leaks (unintentional, fixable) and vents (intentional, not fixable). Leak detection policies only target leaks.

But, some vents can be fixed because they vent far more than what they were designed for. These anomalous vents. 3/
Read 8 tweets
7 Nov 19
I keep getting hate mails, so let me explain.

In any context, using "population control" or "population reduction" is never okay.

Your intentions may not be malicious, but given the genocidal history of that phrase, it is best to not use that framing.…
Population growth in developed countries is below what's need to maintain a steady population.

So, when you're referring to "population reduction", you're specifically referring to the developing world.

Here's global fertility rate, where <2.3 is below replacement rate.
And saying population should be reduced when referring to the developing world has a long history in racism, eugenics, forced sterilizations, and other unspeakable horrors in our history.

This isn't new. There's a long history of well-funded Malthusian overpopulation alarmism.
Read 6 tweets
3 Nov 19
What disappoints me so much is people I admire talking about the developing world in a flippant & superficial way.

“Solar is the answer.”
“X country can leapfrog to EVs.”

And yet when talking about their work, typically centered on the West, they delve into nuance & complexity.
Whether these simplistic narratives are correct is beside the point.

They reinforce a damaging & imperialistic view of the developing world - that solutions to their challenges are easy & obvious, if only they listened to us.

This is getting into white man’s burden territory.
The developing world is at least as complex and nuanced as the developed world and is as worthy of careful study.

It’s perfectly okay to say “I’m not an expert on country X” if that’s not your area of research.
Read 4 tweets
27 Sep 19
I don't know why #degrowth keeps popping up.

As someone whose family was once poor and lived in a developing country, let me say that it's a preposterous suggestion.

We must fight for *sustainable* growth, lifting billions into the middle class. Degrowth is not an option.
I am so amazed by the thoughtful and sincere engagement from a range of voices on this important issue. Thank you all.

I have gotten a lot of useful material to read (which I will, ever so slowly), but here are a few things I've learnt:
1. Many are rightfully concerned about wealth inequality & justice, both nationally & globally.

Both these issues require major changes in how our economy works. The key to this is finding solutions towards sustainable and egalitarian growth. Effective policies will help.
Read 7 tweets
2 Aug 19
This one paper on the economic impact of the complete melting of Greenland Ice Sheet perfectly demonstrates the inadequacy of the social cost of carbon estimate, & more generally conventional economic models, to estimate climate damages.…
This is a good study that can be done within the bounds of the DICE model. But it is a bit ludicrous to treat large-scale changes to the earth system as a stand-alone event. Here's one example: potential impacts to ocean circulation.…
There's also sea-level rise impacts. Cascading & potentially non-linear effects can affect human populations in the near term. You don't have to wait for the entire ice sheet to melt (which is why the impact on SCC is low even under low discount rates).…
Read 6 tweets

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