The United States is one of the largest producers of natural gas across the globe. In 2016, the U.S. extracted nearly 750 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which is the second most heavily consumed energy source across the country. And as of July 2017, there are 178,400 people working in the Oil and Gas Extraction industry in the United States.
Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon mixture consisting primarily of methane, but also commonly includes varying amounts of other higher alkanes, as well as smaller percentages of nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, helium, and/or carbon dioxide.
Across the country, certain legislation and rules are blocking organizations from overusing natural gas. According to Pacific Standard, a Federal judge ruled against West Virginia County for the second time in two years in a natural gas pipeline case.
West Virginia’s elected officials have been vocal about resisting various natural gas industry operations, but U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver ruled in late August that Fayette County commissioners are not allowed to use the county’s local zoning ordinance to block a compressor station, which was proposed as part of a large natural gas transmission pipeline. The Natural Gas Act overrules any local zoning legislation when it comes to pipeline regulations and associated compressor stations.
“I am disappointed in the decision, but I’m not surprised,” said Matt Wender, Fayette County Commission President. “It’s very unfortunate that local governance is being ignored to the preference of the natural gas industry.”
The pipeline involved in the case is the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 300-mile project, which transfers gas from northwestern West Virginia to markets across the East and South Coasts.
Additionally, officials working for the Oregon Department of Energy are recommending the denial of an exemption sought by developers of a new natural gas proposal — the Jordan Cove liquified natural gas project.
If constructed, the project, which commenced in 2004, would be the most expensive project in Oregon’s history — by far. Under state law, any new power plant with generating capacity of 25 megawatts or more is required to have regularly approval from Oregon’s Energy Facility Siting Council. The Jordan Cove natural gas project would have roughly 90 megawatts of power.
“Exemptions depend on meeting an efficiency threshold,” Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) officials said. “An engineering analysis of the proposed facility undertaken by ODOE found that the plant’s fuel efficiency was not high enough.”