Merger puts California's idle well regulations to the test
Credit: 2427999 from Pixabay

Merger puts California's idle well regulations to the test

The acquisition of Aera Energy by California Resources Corporation poses a significant challenge for the state's new legislation aimed at managing orphan wells.

Joe Fassler reports for DeSmog.


In short:

  • California's largest gas producer, CRC, plans to merge with Aera Energy, potentially becoming the primary holder of idle oil and gas wells.
  • New state law AB 1167 requires companies to secure bonds for the decommissioning of such wells, putting the merger under scrutiny.
  • The enforcement of AB 1167 is uncertain, raising concerns about future environmental hazards and financial burdens on taxpayers.

Key quote:

"We have to put some kind of brakes on this slow-moving crisis, and we are now presented with a very significant opportunity to do that."

— Ann Alexander, director of energy solutions at the NRDC

Why this matters:

Addressing the orphan well problem requires coordinated efforts between governments, environmental organizations, and the oil and gas industry. Orphan wells can leak methane, a potent greenhouse gas, contributing to climate change. Methane's ability to trap heat in the atmosphere far exceeds that of carbon dioxide in the short term, making these emissions particularly concerning for global warming.

Abandoned oil and gas wells leave the ocean floor spewing methane.

More schools in cooler climates now need costly air conditioning

As heat waves move north, schools that once didn’t need air conditioning are now facing high costs to keep classrooms cool.

Anna Phillips and Veronica Penney report for The Washington Post.

Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less

German climate activists face charges for 'forming a criminal organization'

Five members of the German climate group Letzte Generation have been charged with "forming a criminal organization," potentially setting a precedent for criminalizing climate protests.

Damien Gayle reports for The Guardian.

Keep reading...Show less

Facing imminent water crises, Mexico City and Bogotá seek solutions

Mexico City and Bogotá are on the brink of severe water shortages, reminiscent of Cape Town's 2018 crisis, due to El Niño-induced drought.

Jake Bittle reports for Grist.

Keep reading...Show less
nyc plastic waste management
Credit: John Fraissinet/Flickr

Effort to reduce plastic waste in New York gains momentum

New York State is on the verge of passing legislation to significantly reduce single-use plastic waste, potentially setting a precedent for other states.

Hilary Howard reports for The New York Times.

Keep reading...Show less
Burrard inlet industrial pollution
Credit: Sherwood411/Flickr

A portrait of pollution around Canada’s busiest port

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is pushing for stricter regulations to protect Burrard Inlet from industrial pollution, as a leaked video highlights the challenges of enforcement.

Ainslie Cruickshank reports for The Narwhal.

Keep reading...Show less
Palm oil pollution
Credit: Photo by Ryan Woo/CIFOR-ICRAF/Flickr

Palm oil plantations increase flood risks and water contamination in Papua

The expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesian Papua has led to increased flooding and water contamination, affecting Indigenous communities downstream.

Hans Nicholas Jong reports for Mongabay.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
environmental justice pittsburgh

Environmental justice advocates find hope, healing and community in Pittsburgh

Advocates and researchers gathered to not only discuss ongoing fights but victories, self-care and cautious optimism about the path ahead.

air pollution pittsburgh

Amidst a controversial international sale, U.S. Steel falls behind in cleaner steelmaking

U.S. Steel’s proposed sale to Nippon Steel stokes concerns over labor rights and national security, all while the company continues to break clean air laws in Western Pennsylvania.

exxon houston petrochemicals

Spanish-speaking residents feel left out of permitting process at massive Exxon petrochemical plant in Houston-area

“It is important to ensure meaningful engagement efforts are inclusive and accessible to all diverse members of our communities.”

youth climate change

"Our lives might be on the line"

Eighth graders reflect on the state of the planet.

sargassum

After 13 years, no end in sight for Caribbean sargassum invasion

Thousands of people were hurt by sargassum blooms last year in the Caribbean.

youth climate change

“We should take care of what is precious to us"

Eighth graders reflect on the state of the planet.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.