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Methane leaks are three times worse than the EPA's official estimate

And yet nothing changes. Ha ha ha


It’s Pi Day, and there’s a comedy night at Busboys & Poets on K Street for Climate Defiance at 7 PM tonight. I frankly doubt headliners Robert Mac and Reem Edan will say anything as funny as what neo-fascist paperclip maximizer Marc Andreesen will say at today’s anemically attended Republican House policy retreat in West Virginia.

Speaking of big jokes, the United States is now the biggest producer of methane pollution from oil and gas extraction, thanks to the Permian fracking boom, with actual leakage rate triple the official numbers. A new survey finds mega-emitters responsible for the lion’s share of the pollution.

And here I was saying two years ago that the official numbers were 77 percent too low. Was I ever wrong. Boy, the egg is on my face! Stanford University climate scientist Rob Jackson is royally pissed.

“For more than a decade, we’ve been showing that the industry emits far more methane than they or government agencies admit. This study is capstone evidence. And yet nothing changes.”

Thus I’m a wee bit suspicious of the Rhodium Group’s Preliminary Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimates for 2023, cited by fracking pipeline giant Enbridge in its Axios Generate greenwashing campaign as proof that increased fracking is good for the climate.

Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich report on the Great Energy Suck:

Over the past year, electric utilities have nearly doubled their forecasts of how much additional power they’ll need by 2028 as they confront an unexpected explosion in the number of data centers, an abrupt resurgence in manufacturing driven by new federal laws, and millions of electric vehicles being plugged in. . . To meet spiking demand, utilities in states like Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia are proposing to build dozens of power plants over the next 15 years that would burn natural gas.


And now, let’s go live to the Republican House retreat:

Okay, this is genuinely funny: “The rats are eating our marijuana. They’re all high.”

Humorless U.S. District Judge David Lawson has found the city of Flint, Mich. in contempt for failing to meet his deadlines for removing lead pipes.

Last year, climatetech investment reached a total of $239 billion, a record-breaking figure that’s 38 percent higher than the 2022 total.

In this image provided by Jeremy Crabtree, large chunks of hail are shown, Wednesday night, March 13, 2024, in Shawnee, Kan. Volatile weather was honing in on parts of Kansas and Missouri Wednesday night, with some storms bringing massive chunks of hail

Hail that fell Wednesday night in Shawnee, Kan. Credit: Jeremy Crabtree

House Oversight chair James Comer (R-Ky.) has sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken questioning John Podesta’s taking over the role of John Kerry as the U.S. climate envoy while remaining a White House staffer, whereas Kerry was in the Department of State. A rider attached to a 2023 defense bill newly requires special envoys such as Kerry to get Senate confirmation.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee gathers federal, state and local officials for a hearing on the increasing wildfire threat, including U.S. Fire Administrator Lori Moore-Merrell, GAO disaster response official Christopher Currie, and officials from Nevada, Utah, and Arizona at 10 am. Wildfires are becoming night owls, thanks to warming nights and increasing drought.

At 10:30 am, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reviews U.S. strategy in the Pacific Islands region with State official Daniel Kritenbrink, Defense official Ely Ratner, and USAID official Michael Schiffer. They probably won’t discuss how great the Roombas of the sea are, but they should.

Hearings on the Hill:

Climate Action Today:

Our final words come from Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor, authors of the new book Solidarity:

“With the planet swiftly tipping toward climate chaos and a right-wing reaction gaining influence globally, those of us who want our species to not only survive but thrive have no choice but to attempt to cultivate solidarity from wherever we happen to sit.”

No joke.

A Greater Yellowlegs stalks through flooded areas on the edge of a rice field east of Davis, California, thanks to a conservation initiative that creates temporary wetlands on agricultural fields. Credit: Ash Ponders

Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word. If you’ve got job listings, event listings, or other hot news, I want to hear it. Connect with me—@[email protected], @climatebrad on Threads, and @climatebrad.hillheat.com on BlueSky

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