Methane plume found at Jeff Bezos’s Texas ranch

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A methane plume was found at Jeff Bezos’s Texas ranch on June 4, 2023. The plume was detected by instruments on the International Space Station and was estimated to be releasing around 1.5 metric tons of methane per hour.

Blue Origin, Bezos’ space exploration company that manufactures rockets that operate on liquefied natural gas and is a major source of methane emissions, is thought to be responsible for the methane. The massive discharge was so large that it could be seen from space. This stands in stark contrast to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ vision of a pollution-free Earth.

According to a Bloomberg story, a nonprofit Carbon Mapper investigation of the plume discovered that around 1.5 metric tons of methane was pouring out each hour. Methane emissions from space exploration businesses are not regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. However, according to an air permit filed by Blue Origin in 2020, the firm might emit up to 60 tons of methane each year.

A spokesperson for Blue Origin said the plume was the result of a procedure to transfer light natural gas into storage tanks and that “everything operated normally.” Some scientists believe that these emissions could have a significant impact on global warming, and it is unclear how long the facility was emitting the methane.

The sources for this piece include an article in Fortune.

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