Corporations, states — even entire countries — are told they’ve got to keep track of their greenhouse gas emissions these days. In some places, it’s the law; and there are ambitious goals to reach in what we are told is a necessary fight to slow climate change.
While it is, indeed, essential for us to take better care of this planet and the people living on it, we’ve also got to be aware that some of the loudest among the climate-change squawkers are of the “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” variety.
California stands out on that front. Its laws limit pollution with ever-stricter regulations and are considered models by some. The state has a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045.
They’ll make it if they keep gaming the system. It’s easy to lower a number if one simply decides not to count some of what should be counted.
In a major oil- and gas- producing state such as California, one would expect some leaks in the approximately 35,000 old, inactive oil and gas wells that dot the landscape. For environmental officials, those methane leaks are an inconvenience left out of the inventory of state emissions.
Methane is not the only gas leaking out of these sites. “Those other gases have significant health impacts,” said Ira Leifer, an independent scientist and CEO of Bubbleology Research International.
But for California officials, that gets in the way of their pretense of climate action superiority.
We’ve all got work to do. That’s not in question. But what is in question is the hypocrisy of California leaders as they point at others for inaction while fudging their own numbers — simply to stoke their egos.
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