Oil and natural gas are often the first to be suspected when emissions spikes are discovered. But though the Obama administration is attempting to tighten regulations on the energy industry, studies have found that oil and natural gas are not the cause. Rather than fossil fuels, it is believed that agriculture and animal husbandry are to blame for most of the increased emissions throughout the globe. This includes the influence of beef and dairy farming and rice agriculture.
Methane Levels Continue to Increase
It’s believed that at the current levels of methane increase, climate change will become permanent within the next three decades. The Obama administration hopes to reduce the methane emissions of the oil and gas industry by 40% by 2015. However, studies zoloftanxiety have shown that the oil and gas industry is responsible for only 29% of the methane emissions in the United States, compared to the 34% that agriculture is responsible for. The oil and gas industry’s methane emissions are going down due to the increase of natural gas, whereas agriculture’s methane emissions are going up due to steady increases in the amount of red meat and dairy consumed throughout the nation. Thus, reducing the methane emissions of the oil and gas industry may not be able to help if agriculture remains unchecked.
NOAA Reports Source of Methane Levels
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has produced an unbiased report that shows that the methane emissions spike is most likely caused by agriculture and the wetlands. Methane is naturally produced in areas such as the wetlands, and agriculture has never before supported such a large volume of animals such as cows. Both beef and dairy cows produce extraordinary amounts of methane, which are hastening the environmental changes across the world. Despite this, there has not been a serious discussion regarding limiting or regulating the agriculture industry, as there has been for oil and natural gas.
It is not feasible for rice, beef, and dairy production to slow significantly overnight. Instead, the industry will need to find a way to balance the food needs of the modern world with greenhouse emissions, or find ways to compensate for the emissions that are occurring. Regardless, the issues that are being faced have very little to do with the current fossil fuel industry; most Americans would be better off looking towards their plate than their vehicle.
It is unknown how increased emissions may alter the climate of the world, or whether or not the environment may be able to “self correct” as emissions increase. It is, however, known that oil and gas are not the primary cause of greenhouse gases. In fact, natural gas has played a significant role in reducing greenhouse emissions in recent years, by replacing coal in many countries. Ideally, restrictions will need to be lessened on oil and natural gas so that they can continue to replace problematic fuel sources, and the agriculture industry will need to improve upon their own operations.
Many studies have shown that oil and natural gas does not have the significant environmental impact that it is believed to have. In fact, there are very few issues that occur as long as oil and natural gas is properly contained. Keystone Containment Contractors offers complete turn-key containment solutions and secondary containment systems, to reduce the potential for pollution and environmental risk.