In this week’s episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with Arvind Ravikumar, a professor at the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Ravikumar describes the challenge of reducing methane emissions from oil and gas production, given that the sources of emissions can be diverse and that systems for monitoring methane leaks can be improved. Elaborating on a recent journal article he coauthored, Ravikumar describes how the process of tracking methane emissions used by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which informs methane control policy across the globe, underestimates the extent of the problem.
Listen to the Podcast
- New technologies can track methane better: “Just over the past decade, we have had a tremendous explosion in the number of start-up companies based right here in the United States developing new technologies, new sensors, new platforms that are able to cost-effectively—and in a much faster manner than before—find estimates of methane emissions … The need for better estimates from a policy perspective, as well as the development of new technology, has really led to a significant advance in our understanding of methane emissions.” (9:17)
- EPA measurements don’t account for the super-emitter problem: “Most of the emissions come from a very small number of tanks. For example, out of 100 tanks, there’ll be 5 tanks that are emitting a lot of methane, and 95 of them are not emitting much at all. We have a very small number of equipment that are responsible for a majority of the emissions. To be able to calculate correct average emissions for those tanks, you need to take all measurements from those 5 super-emitting tanks. If you miss many of them, then your average is going to be significantly lower than what the reality is.” (13:40)
- Corporate climate commitments aren’t enough: “Big, publicly traded oil and gas companies are shedding themselves of emissions-intensive assets to private companies. On paper, big companies like BP and Shell reduce their emissions footprint. But what in reality happens is these companies go to the hands of private operators who are not beholden to shareholder or investor activism … If you don’t have methane policy from the federal government or from the states, you’re going to have more of these emissions-intensive operations move to private hands, so you’re actually not reducing emissions but continuing the problem.” (27:25)
Top of the Stack
- “Closing the methane gap in US oil and natural gas production emissions inventories” by Jeffrey S. Rutherford, Evan D. Sherwin, Arvind P. Ravikumar, Garvin A. Heath, Jacob Englander, Daniel Cooley, David Lyon, Mark Omara, Quinn Langfitt, and Adam R. Brandt
- Comprehensive news coverage of Hurricane Ida in the Times-Picayune
- “At least 350 oil and chemical spills reported in Louisiana waters after Hurricane Ida” by Tristan Baurick
- The India Energy Hour podcast
- “What do we hope to find when we look for a snow leopard?” by Kathryn Schulz
The Full Transcript
Daniel Raimi: Hello, and welcome to Resources Radio, a weekly podcast from Resources for the Future. I'm your host, Daniel Raimi.
Today, we talk with Dr. Arvind Ravikumar, Associate Professor at the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Arvind is a leading researcher on the topic of methane emissions from oil and gas systems and has recently coauthored a paper demonstrating how the EPA can better account for these emissions, which are notoriously hard to measure. We'll also talk about federal policy designed to reduce methane emissions and the voluntary commitments that some companies have made to do just that. Stay with us.
Alright. Arvind Ravikumar, now at the University of Texas at Austin. Thank you so much for coming back to join us today on Resources Radio.
Arvind Ravikumar: Thank you very much for having me.
Daniel Raimi: So Arvind, you've been on the show before, but it's been a couple of years now. Can you remind our listeners how you got interested in working on environmental issues?
Arvind Ravikumar: Sure. It's been an interesting journey since my graduate degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University. I was working on developing sensors for detecting pollutants in the atmosphere like methane, carbon dioxide, benzene, and other gases. While I was doing my PhD, I got involved with the student group at Princeton called the Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars. This was a university-wide group that brought together students and faculty interested in climate and energy and just had events and seminars associated with that.
My friend invited me, and I said, "Okay, yeah, why not? Let's do this." That's where I became very much interested in the broader questions around energy and environment policy in the United States. In fact, incidentally, I think it has a different name. Now it's called the High Meadows Institute, but several of my cohort from the Princeton Energy Climate Scholars are actually now faculty across the United States and around the world researching the same issues on energy and environmental policy. So that's been very exciting to see where they are at and work with them now.
But that’s sort of where I really decided, “I know the engineering and the technology really well, but I really want to get involved in some of the broader conversations around how energy policy gets developed and how new technologies can actually help address some of our challenges in solving climate change.” I started talking to faculty at Princeton, I started visiting other scholars around the country, and that's what took me to Stanford University. There, I was working with Professor Adam Brandt in the Energy Resources and Training Department.
That was an exciting time because right around when I was starting my research on methane emissions and methane detection technologies, the Obama administration was strongly thinking about methane regulations for the oil and gas industry. There was a large need in helping develop this policy and understanding how some of the new technologies that were being developed could fit into this policy framework.
There was a lot of conversations between myself and the team at the EPA about how technology can address the methane mitigation challenge, what kind of requirements does the EPA have, and what technologies would satisfy those things. Ever since then, the importance of methane emissions to address global climate challenges—as well as the role of new technologies and systems that are being developed—has grown tremendously over the past five years. There's been no looking back.
Daniel Raimi: Absolutely. That’s exactly what we're going to talk about today—some of those technologies, what we've been learning by applying them, and trying to improve our understanding of methane. As you mentioned, there's been more and more attention given to methane, including in the recent IPCC assessment report, where methane really got a lot of airplay—perhaps more than it has in previous reports or at least in the press it did—but let's take a quick step back. Let me ask you to just remind us why we care about methane, where it comes from in the oil and gas system, and what we're talking about when we're talking about trying to reduce it.
Arvind Ravikumar: Right, I'll try to address the second part of the question first because that really is important to understand why it's important to address methane emissions from the oil and gas system. Methane, in general, is the major component of natural gas that we use in our homes and for power generation. Methane is emitted across the entire supply line of the oil and gas network. Right from exploration, production—drilling and getting oil and gas out of the well—all the way to processing the gas, cleaning it up, removing impurities, putting it through a pipeline that travels across the state, and then finally to distribution systems where it comes to your home for cooking and heating.
Methane can leak anywhere across the supply chain, and it can happen randomly. There are three ways in which methane comes out into the atmosphere: leaks, vents, and flaring.
Leaks are basically what we colloquially know as leaks: things break because they are old, because of wear and tear, and numerous other reasons until methane starts leaking where it should not be. Then there are vents: vents are known releases of methane. During the course of oil and gas production, there are situations where you have to release methane as a safety precaution, or perhaps there's a device that routinely releases methane, which is its normal function. And so those are called vents in that we know exactly where they are emitting methane.
And the last thing is flaring. Flaring is an issue in certain oil and gas basins in the country, as well as around the world. What it basically does is burn natural gas that's coming off the ground. For example, in an oil and gas field, if you have both oil and gas produced, if you don't have a pipeline for gas, all that gas has to go somewhere, and typically, companies burn them and call it flaring. Typically, flaring and burning convert all methane into carbon dioxide, but sometimes, it does not because burning is not efficient and therefore releases large quantities of methane. So that's the first issue—you have leaks, vents, and flaring that releases methane emissions to the atmosphere.
There's also huge geographic and temporal variability. Methane leakage in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico is very different from methane emissions in the Marcellus Basin in Pennsylvania. It also varies by time. There are certain operations that only happen during the day, or that only happened during some part of the year when you have a lot more methane emissions than other parts of the year.
Sometimes these emissions are also very short in duration. You might have a very large methane leak that goes on for a few hours, and then it stops. And so there's huge temporal and geographic variability in methane emissions. This is part of why it's challenging to address this because you need to be able to know exactly where these methane emissions are occurring, when they are occurring, and go and fix them right at the moment they are occurring
Daniel Raimi: One of the challenges to doing all this measurement, as many of our listeners will know, is just the scale of the system, right? There are literally millions of wells out there that could potentially be leaking at any given moment, and then there are millions of miles of pipelines that could be leaking at any given moment, and so this measurement issue has really been at the forefront.
As you know well, Arvind, there's been tons of new research, a lot of it conducted by you and your colleagues in the last 10 years or so, that has tried to better quantify methane emissions from the oil and gas system. Why did we need to do all that measurement? What was our state of knowledge of the methane problem, let's say 10 years ago, and how have we caught up over the last decade or so?
Arvind Ravikumar: One of the big things about addressing methane emissions is this: you can only address something if you know where it is. You can only know where something is if you go out and actually measure methane emissions.
Addressing methane emissions as policy is relatively new; it probably started in 2015 or so. So until then, there was not a lot of need to more accurately measure methane emissions. You just needed a reasonable estimate of what your emissions are, and that's what the US EPA had done for a number of years before methane policy took hold.
But there are a lot of problems with that. The estimates that the EPA used to develop are either industry-reported, or they use outdated data, or they get data from a very small number of samples. The shale revolution in the United States around 2000–2010 has significantly changed the landscape of US oil and gas production, and with it, the landscape of US oil and gas methane emissions as well. To be able to better understand what the methane emissions impact of the shale revolution are, where it's being emitted, how much is being emitted, we needed much more robust and more recent estimates of methane emissions.
Part of the challenge was that technologies didn't exist 20 years ago to accurately measure methane emissions. We only had one or two systems that were crude and would not produce accurate estimates of methane emissions. But that has changed: just over the past decade, we have had a tremendous explosion in the number of start-up companies based right here in the United States developing new technologies, new sensors, new platforms that are able to cost-effectively and in a much faster manner than before find estimates of methane emissions from oil and gas activity. This combination of the need for better estimates from a policy perspective, as well as the development of new technology, has really led to a significant advance in our understanding of methane emissions.
Daniel Raimi: In a recent study that you released with a number of coauthors, that's called “Closing the methane gap in US oil and natural gas production emissions inventories,” you and your coauthors really tried to improve, or at least, suggest, some ways to improve the way that we currently account for methane emissions from oil and gas in the United States. Can you give us a high-level overview of what this study was trying to accomplish and what you did?
Arvind Ravikumar: This paper was the outcome of tremendous effort and number-crunching from Jeff Rutherford. He's the first author on the paper, currently a graduate student at Stanford University. The basic issue with what we saw in that paper is this: for a number of years, there's been a lot of different measurements of methane emissions from US oil and gas operations. We have had planes fly over facilities. We have had satellites fly over. We have had drones. We've had scientists drive around trucks mounted with sensors and measure methane emissions. So we have a lot of data on methane emissions.
Every time we looked at the data, we found that what we measured at these sites was significantly larger than what the EPA said in its emissions inventory, methane emissions were at these sites. We didn't really understand where the gap came from or whether our measurements were wrong or whether the EPA's estimates were wrong. What this paper really did is tried to reconcile these measurements with what the EPA inventory says methane emissions were. That’s really the biggest advance that we have seen with this work.
I'll give a very brief introduction to how the EPA does this. The EPA calculates emissions by multiplying two numbers: these two numbers are called “activity factors” and “emissions factors.”
Activity factors are telling you how many components you have in your facility. Let’s take tanks as an example because people understand tanks; it's used to store liquids and oil and other products coming out from oil and gas production. Activity factor refers to the number of tanks at a site.
The second number is the emissions factor. Emissions factor refers to the average emissions per component. In this case, it'll be average emissions from one tank, and so if you multiply the number of tanks with the average emissions from tanks, which is multiplying the activity factor with the emissions factor, you're going to get total emissions from tanks. The EPA does this for every single component at an oil and gas facility, adds them up, and gets an estimate of total methane emissions. This is not just the EPA. The IPCC estimates of methane emissions are based on this, and international estimates of methane emissions by other countries are also based on a very similar methodology. We did this for the US EPA work, but this has implications far beyond just the United States.
What we found was that there are two issues with the way EPA does this. The first thing is the methodology was not wrong. That's the best part of this because we are not asking EPA to change the way they calculate methane emissions. What we are asking the EPA to do is update the numbers they're using. I talked about two numbers: the activity factor and the emissions factor. Activity factors are the number of components on the site, but because of the shale revolution around 2010, oil and gas production sites look very different now than they looked maybe 34 years ago.
The problem is the EPA is using—for a large part of its inventory—outdated data. The number of tanks or the number of compressors on the site are different than the assumptions made by the EPA, which are based on much older data. We want the EPA to update those numbers.
The second part is similar. The emissions factors, which are the average emissions per component, are also different, and the reason is much more interesting. Over the past five years when we did these field measurements of methane, what we found was called the super-emitter problem. What that really means is, if you have a hundred tanks, most of the emissions from all the tanks come from a very small number of tanks. For example, out of the hundred tanks, there'll be 5 tanks that are emitting a lot of methane, and 95 of them are not emitting much at all.
We have a very small number of equipment that are responsible for a majority of the emissions. To be able to calculate correct average emissions for those tanks, you need to take all measurements from those 5 super-emitting tanks. If you miss many of them, then your average is going to be significantly lower than what the reality is.
The problem with EPA's emissions factors is that, in the past, they used a very small number of samples. So out of, you said, there are millions of wells in this country, right? EPA probably went to 20 of them and measured methane emissions there and said, "Okay, this is the average methane emissions we measured, I'm going to extrapolate this to the entire country." What we're seeing is because there are super-emitters, you cannot have a small sample size, you need to measure thousands and thousands of them to get a reasonably accurate average, and that's the second issue that we found. If you update these emissions factors, and if you update the correct component counts that are present in the country now, what you do is close the gap between EPA’s actual inventory and this updated inventory.
The methodology is fine, but you have to change your numbers to the reality that you're facing right now. When you do that, we magically close the gap between measurements and the inventory. So the inventory estimates go up by about 60 percent, which exactly matches what we are measuring in the field. That's a huge thing. We now found out where the problem is, and therefore we can solve it. This has implications far beyond the United States because the IPPC recommends countries that don't have their own inventory process to use EPA methodology and EPA data to develop their methane emissions inventories. When we improve the US EPA’s methane inventory, we also improve the imagery of so many other countries, and we'll get a much better estimate of global oil and gas, methane emissions.
Daniel Raimi: That's really interesting. You said it was magic—it sounds like hard work, not magic, but we'll go with your term. If the EPA were to adopt your magic approach, I think you said that methane emissions would be roughly 60 percent higher than EPA current estimates. Can you just confirm that for me and help us understand where are the biggest differences between the measurements that you're seeing in the field and what EPA is reporting in its inventories?
Arvind Ravikumar: Right, that's correct. The current best-known estimate of methane emissions compiled from all the field studies we have done is about 2.3 percent. So when I say 2.3 percent, what I mean is if you produce a hundred units of natural gas, 2.3 units of natural gas get leaked into the atmosphere as methane. If you looked at the EPA’s emissions inventory, it's close to about 1.6 and 1.7 percent, so measurements are about 60 percent higher. When we use our updated numbers for activity factors and emissions factors, we close that gap, and we get the inventory also up to around 2.3% of methane emissions.
If you look at where these methane emissions come from and where the biggest difference is, much of this gap between measurements and the current inventory is on the production side of things. We have a good handle on methane emissions from the distribution side from pipeline leakage, but what really changed is production sector emissions, which is upstream emissions, which is where we have had the most growth over the past two decades because of unconventional shale development.
Specifically, if you look at the upstream side, one of the biggest sources of emissions we know are tanks: tanks that store oil, tanks that store other liquids, and tanks that store water that come from the ground when you drill for oil and gas.
The reason is relatively simple to understand: when you have liquids underground under very high pressure, a lot of the gas—methane gas and natural gas—gets dissolved in these liquids. When you bring those liquids up and dump it into tanks, the tanks are at atmospheric pressure. All of that gas that was dissolved in it gets released, and once they get released, they directly go into the atmosphere. And so, in the oil and gas basins that have a lot of oil and liquids production, you're also going to have a lot of tanks and therefore a lot of methane emissions.
This is one major area where EPA had significantly underestimated: the average methane emissions from tanks. When we updated that, that actually significantly reduced the gap between measurement and inventory. That’s one thing we definitely want to change, and to EPA’s credit, they've been doing this. But of course, the processes for the EPA to change the numbers they've been using—this is a years-long process, so things take time.
If you look at recent updates to the inventory, the EPA has used some of the studies that were conducted recently to update their emissions factors in the midstream segment, for say, compressor stations—they’re trying to do that for all other parts of the supply chain as well, but it's a slow process.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah, for sure. You’ve mentioned the shale revolution a couple of times. One issue that I think is really interesting is, to what extent is it newer wells and newer equipment that's driving these leaks, or is it older equipment and older wells that are driving the leaks? You already mentioned the issue of liquids-producing regions having relatively high emissions rates. Do we know much about the distribution of leaks between the newer shale-revolution type wells, versus the older legacy wells that are producing? Also, are they all mixed up? Is it an integrated system? So, can you just talk about that?
Arvind Ravikumar: That is a great question, partly because this is getting to the forefront of scientific research on methane emissions. There are some things we know about methane, obviously. For example, we know that basins that produce oil and gas tend to have higher methane emissions than basins that are just dry gas. For example, the Marcellus Shale has typically had lower methane leakage than the Permian Basin in Texas. Part of the reason is because of the type of operations and the type of equipment you need for dry gas versus wet gas production—wet gas is where you have both oil and gas co-produced.
So that's a major difference. There are some indications that you have production volume, and the age of the infrastructure also plays a role in methane leakage. But the interesting thing is there are a lot of factors that affect methane leakage. We can point out and say, "Okay, this well is older, and therefore it's going to have higher methane emissions," because there are four or five other factors that also affect methane emissions. That’s interesting because one of the recent things that we tried in our group is to look at whether machine learning can be used to solve this problem.
What we did was we compiled methane emissions that have been recently measured. We took in a lot of data associated with oil and gas basins—things like production, things like age. What are the major things on that site and wanted to explore whether machine learning could help us understand which variables, which of these properties are going to be most important in addressing methane leakage? It’s an active area of research. We are looking to see which factors are going to be most important and therefore address them as part of methane policy.
But one thing we do know is that methane emissions is an equal opportunity pollutant. We see methane emissions from old wells, we see methane from new wells, we see methane from dry gas basins, we see methane from wet gas basins. The challenge here, in terms of addressing methane emissions through policy, is an approach that is fast, that is cost-effective, and that can be applied over a wide range of geographic and temporal scales.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah, that's really interesting. Let’s turn now to that policy topic. As you know really well Arvind, there's a lot of interest right now in Washington, DC, on a federal methane fee for upstream oil and gas production. There are different designs about how such policy could work: some have been introduced on the floor of the Senate, and there are other ideas that have been kicking around. Can you give us a general idea about how a federal methane fee might work?
Arvind Ravikumar: This is an interesting concept because it's not only getting a lot of traction in the United States but also outside the United States, especially in Europe. For example, US liquified natural gas (LNG) gets exported to the European Union, and one of the methane policies in Europe suggests that they're going to be thinking about, what is the emissions footprint of their LNG sources? And then they’ll try to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing emissions associated with the LNG subletting. This idea of a fee-based methane policy is very important.
There are also utilities that are thinking about what we call “responsible natural gas” or “certified natural gas,” which is basically a fancy way of saying, "If you buy natural gas from me, I can guarantee that my leakage is less than 1 percent." The way it'll work is, basically, we find out what the methane emissions at the operator or asset level are across the country. There's a fee much like a carbon fee associated with methane emissions. Based on what your methane emissions are, you pay a certain fee.
One important thing in all the proposals that I've seen is that if these policies are not based on direct and frequent measurements of methane emissions, they are not going to work. There's absolutely no substitute for frequent and direct measurements of methane to be able to go to a fee-based approach.
A little bit of history here: until very recently, and in fact, even now, methane policy was not based on measurements of how much methane you're emitting. It was just based on, “If you're an oil and gas operator, producing natural gas, do X, Y, and Z, irrespective of what your methane emissions are. So, a high-emitting operator and a low-emitting operator will both have the exact same policies that they have to comply with. With a fee-based mechanism, then you're going to need to distinguish between an operator with high emissions and an operator with low emissions. The only way to do it is with measurements. And so, yes, we can move to a fee-based structure and there are new technologies that can allow us to estimate methane emissions cost-effectively. But any of those approaches must be based on direct measurements of methane emissions.
Daniel Raimi: Right. Great. One of the ideas that is floating around out there is if you're an oil and gas operator in, let's say, the Permian basin, you are assumed to have the average leak rate of all the other operators in your basin unless you can prove otherwise. The way that you would prove otherwise would be through implementing some of these technologies that you're talking about. Does that sound about right?
Arvind Ravikumar: Yeah, that sounds right. It's easy to talk about the oil and gas industry as a monolith, and I understand why we do that, given the challenges we face in addressing climate policy. But even within the oil and gas industry, if you look at methane emissions profiles, there's huge variation across the industry. You have operators who have proactive policies to address methane emissions from their facilities, and they have very low emissions when we measure them. You also have operators who don't care about methane emissions, unless there's a federally mandated policy to address them, and so they have high methane emissions. And so, even within operators, there's this huge difference.
When we go to a fee-based system, it is indeed possible to reward operators who are actually addressing their methane emissions, while penalizing and incentivizing others who are not currently, to reduce their emissions footprint. But again, to be able to do this, to be able to reward operators who are managing methane emissions will require us to effectively measure methane emissions at these sites on an ongoing and continuous basis.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah, that's great. And that leads me right to the last question I wanted to ask you before we go to our Top of the Stack segment, which is about some of the voluntary measures that oil and gas companies have taken to reduce their methane emissions. There are several different groups at the international and domestic levels of oil and gas companies that have made public statements that they are going to work together and try to reduce their emissions rates to well below 1 percent of the natural gas that they produce. Some of them have made public announcements that they have achieved those goals. To your knowledge, are those estimates being measured well? Do you trust them? What's your take on some of the voluntary efforts that are out there?
Arvind Ravikumar: This is a complicated question because I truly appreciate the sentiment that they are expressing. Oil and gas companies are rightfully getting pressured by a number of different avenues—from investors, activists, government, and customers—and so they have to do something about this problem. Many of them, as you rightly said, are trying different approaches to voluntarily reduce their methane emissions. But it is not a substitute for effective methane mitigation policy that applies to everyone.
Do I believe that their emissions are already below 1 percent? No, I don't believe that. I think they are taking efforts to reduce methane emissions, but unless they can demonstrate in a transparent way, through measurements, that they have actually reduced methane emissions to below 1 percent—not just once, but on a continuous basis—it's hard to trust the numbers that come from Excel spreadsheet calculations of methane emissions.
Again, I come back to the same point I made before. If you're going to tell the world that your methane emissions, your methane footprint is less than 1 percent, show me the data. If there's no data to back that up, then there's no reason anybody should believe that number. That's the first part.
The second part is a more challenging problem. I’m sure you’ve seen in the news recently that big, publicly traded oil and gas companies are shedding themselves of emissions-intensive assets, whether it's in the oil sands in Canada or operations in Alaska, to private companies. On paper, big companies like BP and Shell reduce their emissions footprint. But what, in reality, happens is these companies go to the hands of private operators who are not beholden to shareholder or investor activism. What happens when these things happen is, if you don't have methane policy from the federal government or from the states, you're going to have more of these emissions-intensive operations move to private hands, and so you're actually not reducing emissions but continuing the problem, while, on paper, things look better for some of these larger companies that have voluntary mitigation efforts.
There’s no substitute for effective methane policy that takes care not just of companies who are proactively addressing methane emissions, but for all companies that have oil and gas operations in the country.
Daniel Raimi: That's such a great point, and it reminds me of a dumb joke that I use sometimes, which is that people complain a lot about Big Oil, but a lot of times it's actually Little Oil that might be more worth worrying about.
Let's move on now to our Top of the Stack segment, where we ask you to recommend something that you've read or watched or heard, even if it's just tangentially related to the environment, that you would recommend to our listeners.
I'll start with a book review that was passed along to me by Elizabeth Wason, our fantastic producer. Elizabeth shared this new book review in the New Yorker written by Kathryn Schulz. The name of the article is "What Do We Hope to Find When We Look for a Snow Leopard?" It's really just a fantastic meditation on the essence of people writing about nature, the interactions that they have in nature, and the way that they think about and portray nature. For anyone who's interested in the environment and especially people who love writing, I think you'll really enjoy this article as well. Thanks to Elizabeth for sending that to me. Now over to you, Arvind: what's on the top of your stack?
Arvind Ravikumar: All right, great. I have a couple of things, actually. The first thing is a big shoutout to local journalism. I've been closely following the impacts of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans in Louisiana and the oil and gas operations there. I do want to say, what a brilliant job that the Times-Picayune is covering it. The national news media has gone past the hurricane now that the eye of the hurricane has passed the region, but some of the most dire impact of this hurricane is coming in the aftermath. Lots of communities have been left without power and sweltering in a hundred-plus degree heat, and there have been 315 major oil and gas spills in the Gulf of Mexico. That's being reported by local journalists there. This is a call for people to support local journalism so that they could get a lot more depth and information about the impacts of extreme weather, but also of climate change in those regions.
Daniel Raimi: Hear, hear.
Arvind Ravikumar: The second thing I want to talk about and recommend to listeners is a podcast. It's called the India Energy Hour. This is a podcast based solely right now on the energy transition in India. As you know, they have one of the largest economic growth potentials in the near future, as well as energy growth potential. The decisions and policies India takes as to its energy future, whether it's going to continue to depend on coal or move to cleaner energy sources, is going to have a huge impact on the climate future of this planet. It’s a great podcast, and it's hosted by one of my good friends, and they bring in different experts to talk about how India can transition to a clean energy future. Some of the problems that we face in the United States on how the energy transition is intricately connected to social and cultural norms around our energy use and energy sources is amplified much more in the context of India, given that a lot of it is state-managed. So, it’s a great podcast, there are a lot of different guests, and I would encourage everyone to listen to that to see how the transition is happening in places outside the developed world.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah, that's a great recommendation, and I've actually been meaning to listen to that, too. It looks really good. We did an episode a year ago or so with Varun Sivaram where we talked about India, but we were only scratching the surface because it was just a 30-minute discussion, so that sounds like a really great way to dive deep into that topic.
Great. Well, Arvind Ravikumar from the University of Texas at Austin, thank you for joining us today on Resources Radio, helping us understand the methane issue. We really appreciate your time.
Arvind Ravikumar: Thank you very much for having me. It was great to talk to you.
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