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problems from discharges, current limited
treatments available for some current discharges of produced water and the toxicity
of produced water and its constituents.
Other NGOs and associations of state
regulators see potential benefits related
to water availability associated with increased opportunities for discharging
treated produced water, the agency says.
In addition, some support additional discharge options, seeing opportunities to
generate revenues from the treated pro-

duced water and to facilitate increased
oil and gas operations.
Some state agency representatives note
the oil and gas industry can be a significant
user of freshwater in certain areas, with
drilling and hydraulic fracturing often
consuming large volumes.
"In many cases, industry relies on
withdrawal from surface water or groundwater supplies to obtain needed water,"
EPA observes. "After use in exploration
and production activities, this water may

be reused within the oil and gas field, but
in many cases, is ultimately disposed of
in Class II UIC wells where it is no
longer part of the water cycle. State
agency representatives indicated that treating this water for discharge and reintroduction to the water cycle would help to
preserve or augment freshwater supplies."
The report is available at
www.epa.gov/eg/summary-input-oil-andgas-extraction-wastewater-managementpractices-under-clean-water-act-final. ❒

Groups Fighting Bans On Natural Gas
WASHINGTON-In the name of meeting decarbonization or air quality goals,
many cities across the country are considering or have passed ordinances that
seek to limit or even ban natural gas
equipment in new buildings.
Berkeley, Ca., became the first municipality to ban natural gas infrastructure
in new buildings in 2019. Cities in Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, Ohio
and New York have joined Berkeley and
other California municipalities in approving similar restrictions.
Those bans are meeting resistance,
Energy in Depth says, with consumer
and business groups raising concerns
about their impacts on low-income families, local restaurants and electricity demands. In February, Arizona passed a
bill with bipartisan support that prevents
cities from prohibiting natural gas use,
and EID notes other states, including
Missouri, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Mississippi, have passed or
are considering similar legislation.
The Oklahoma legislation, signed by
Governor Kevin Stitt, bars prohibiting
utility connections based on the type or
source of energy. It becomes effective on
Nov. 1.
"Abundant, clean-burning natural gas is
powering human progress while also enabling the United States to lead the world
in greenhouse gas reductions," assesses
Brook Simmons, president of the Petroleum
Alliance of Oklahoma. "Oklahoma is not
going to allow that progress to be interrupted
by nonsensical local ordinances, which
signal climate virtue to the ignorant but
have the opposite real-world effect."
Louisiana legislators are considering
a bill to bar local governments from prohibiting utility connections, including
natural gas hookups. "What we are trying
to do is send a market signal to the rest
of the country to say that Louisiana is
open for business when it comes to natural
gas," says Tyler Gray, president and
general counsel of the Louisiana Mid-

Continent Oil & Gas Association.
Several groups across California are
opposing local bans on natural gas. The
California Restaurant Association has
filed a lawsuit against the city, saying the
ban threatens local eateries. In addition
to added difficulties in cooking, the group
warns there will be economic impacts.
"Many restaurants use gas to heat water
and space and for other appliances. This
ban will raise costs to build and operate
restaurants. Restaurant owners may simply
choose not to move to or construct new
buildings because they will not have
access to natural gas," CRA predicts.
"We believe that the Berkeley ban represents the start of efforts to ban or severely
restrict all natural gas use," poses Jot
Condie, CRA's president and chief executive
officer. "It's impossible to overstate how
irresponsible this is at a time when millions
of Californians find themselves in the dark
because of planned power outages. The
citizens of California need reliable and
affordable energy that allows them to
choose what appliances they have in their
homes and businesses."
"While lawmakers frame moving away
from natural gas in homes and businesses
as a necessary move that will include a
'just transition,' the reality for many of
these workers is an end to family-sustaining careers without a clear plan for
comparable jobs," EID notes. "As this
shortsighted trend continues, government
officials must consider the detriments of
these policies against the perceived benefits. Or else, they will continue to face
opposition from the very people they are
accountable to."
San Luis Obispo is another California
municipality contemplating banning or
limiting the use of natural gas appliances
and hookups in new buildings, which
EID says is part of a push to force electrification as a climate solution. City officials scheduled an April 7 meeting to
vote on a proposed climate policy but it
was cancelled after a union leader threat-

ened to mobilize hundreds of workers to
protest the proposal.
Gas Ban
Outside California, Takoma Park, Md.,
a suburb outside Washington, D.C., passed
a nonbinding ban that orders the community to remove fossil fuels from the
city, which EID says will pressure residents
to avoid natural gas appliances and force
gasoline stations to move outside city
boundaries.
Natural gas stoves are more efficient
because of the state of the energy mix,
argues Zilvinas Silenas, president of the
Foundation for Economic Education.
"Burning gas to make electricity is only
about 40% efficient, on average," Silenas
says. "The environmental effect of switching
from gas stoves to electric stoves depends
largely on how the electricity is produced.
Given current U.S. electricity production,
if you banned natural gas stoves across the
country, only two out of 10 would be powered by renewable energy-the remaining
eight would be powered by electricity generated from coal (three), nuclear (two) and
natural gas (three)."
Thomas M. Kiley, president and CEO
of Northeast Gas Association, emphasizes
that natural gas already is reducing pollution quickly and effectively, noting that
the fuel has cut Massachusetts' emissions
by 68% in 25 years while playing a key
part in the state's improving clean air position by replacing dirtier fuels.
John Switalski, spokesman for Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions,
whose membership includes California
Pipe Trades Council, Coalition of California Utility Employees, Western Propane
Gas Association and Utility Workers
Union of America, also points to the
ban's economic costs.
"Electrification is something that
sounds good, but the regulatory policy
being discussed fails to take into account
the actual costs that will fall on consumers," he says.
❒
JUNE 2020 67


http://www.epa.gov/eg/summary-input-oil-andgas-extraction-wastewater-managementpractices-under-clean-water-act-final http://www.epa.gov/eg/summary-input-oil-andgas-extraction-wastewater-managementpractices-under-clean-water-act-final http://www.epa.gov/eg/summary-input-oil-andgas-extraction-wastewater-managementpractices-under-clean-water-act-final

American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - Intro
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 4
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 5
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 6
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 7
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 8
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 9
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 10
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