The Nord Stream pipeline leaks are a disaster — the oil and gas industry has a much bigger mess

In this Handout Photo provided by Swedish Coast Guard, the release of gas emanating from a leak on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea on September 28th, 2022, in At Sea. | Photo by Swedish Coast Guard via Getty Images

This week, the world watched what’s likely to be the fossil fuel industry’s single largest methane release ever. An astonishing amount of methane is floating up from the now-notorious Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines and rising above the surface of the Baltic Sea. It’s a pollution nightmare. It also pales in comparison to the vast amount of methane that oil and gas operations constantly release.

Up to 778 million standard cubic meters of methane gas could spew from the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in a worst-case scenario, according to the Danish Energy Agency. That’s equivalent to nearly a third of Denmark’s greenhouse gas emissions for the entire year of 2020.

The Nord Stream disaster “is an extraordinarily huge one-time event,” says…

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