The fracking boom has resulted in greenhouse gas emissions steadily climbing each year since the U.S. has become the largest producer of oil and gas in the world.

As a result of the boom, there are plans over the next five years to build or extend 157 petroleum and natural gas drilling sites and chemical manufacturing and refinery plants across the country, according to federal records.

That expansion will result in greenhouse gas emissions across the U.S. totaling 990.5 million tons per year by 2025, according to a study by the Environmental Integrity Project. The nonpartisan and nonprofit group, established in 2002 by former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency attorneys, said that’s the equivalent of 50 new coal-fired power plants.

Ohio officials say the estimated $5 billion plant, first announced in 2015, would be one of the state’s largest economic development projects ever — if it goes through. To construct the plant, thousands of construction jobs would be needed, and once the plant is up and running, there would be about several hundred permanent jobs.

“In reality we can, and should, have both a clean and sustainable environment and good-paying, long-lasting jobs,” said Mike Chadsey, director of public relations for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.

Australia’s fire take toll on emissions

The fires sweeping Australia probably have doubled the nation’s annual greenhouse-gas emissions, producing as much climate-damaging pollution as all the airplanes in the world, new research shows.

The bush fires likely contributed 900 million metric tons of carbon emissions, according to early estimates from scientists behind the Global Fire Emissions Database. That compares with 532 million tons of emissions from Australia for the year through June and about 918 million tons that the International Council on Clean Transportation counted from commercial aircraft worldwide in 2018.

An eco-friendly idea for floral industry

Regifting often gets a bad rap, but it can be the most thoughtful gesture — for the recipient and the environment.

As consumers become more eco-conscious, services are popping up to reduce wastefulness in the flower industry. Considering that the floral gifting market is expected to reach $16 billion in revenue by 2023, buying from eco-friendly operations can have an impact. According to one estimate, the roughly 100 million roses grown for a typical Valentine’s Day in the U.S. produce about 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

As a wedding designer and corporate planner, Jennifer Grove often oversaw the design of floral arrangements, only to see those creations discarded within hours. In 2014 she founded Repeat Roses to make it easier for luxury clients to donate used bouquets. Like a traditional floral service, the company sells high-end floral decorations, but it then recycles or composts them.

If a customer chooses the signature repurposing service, a Repeat Roses team can remove the arrangements from the event and then restyle the flowers into petite bouquets to donate to hospitals, nursing homes, and family shelters. When the charities are finished with the flowers, Repeat Roses picks them up and composts them.

Prices start at $1,750 for the removal and repurposing. If you’re not willing to spend that much, the company will still compost the flowers instead of sending them to a landfill.

Through these two methods, Repeat Roses estimates it has diverted more than 98 tons of waste from landfills and delivered almost 53,000 floral arrangements.

News services