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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

CO methane verification protocol seen as 'major breakthrough'

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Monday, June 3, 2024   

Environmental groups are calling Colorado's new rules to measure methane pollution a "major breakthrough" in curbing it.

The Greenhouse Gas Intensity Verification Protocol - released in May by the state - is the first time a government agency has created a comprehensive framework for measuring, reporting, and verifying releases of the potent greenhouse gas in oil and gas production, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Joe Antus, executive director of the Colorado-based nonprofit Signal Tech Coalition, said methane triggers more damage to the environment than any other substance.

"About 25% of climate change we're already experiencing is a direct cause of methane," said Antus. "It's the second biggest contributor. It has more than 80 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over, like, a 20 year period."

The 2021 Colorado Legislature approved legislation to create the protocol. The industry argues the new rules will raise their costs unfairly.

The key elements require operators to use direct and appropriate measurement technologies, verify measurements, and ensure transparent record-keeping and reporting.

Antus said methane emissions have been undercounted and underreported, making it more challenging to reduce them without understanding the scale of the problem.

Methane is often a byproduct of oil and gas production, but also of livestock manure, and some seeps naturally from the earth.

Antus said the bill goes a long way toward helping the neighbors of oil and gas production sites.

"There's a big environmental justice component of methane emissions - and especially from oil and gas production - disproportionately impact the communities all around these oil and gas wells," said Antus. "It is disproportionately more people of color, in communities of color."

The protocol goes into effect in 2025. It sets statutory targets to reduce total climate pollution for the upstream oil and gas sector by 36% by next year and 60% by 2030.


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