Environmental Hazards from Offshore Methane Hydrate Operations presents the first treatment of the legal issues facing the future of offshore methane hydrates, perhaps one of the largest known potential sources of fresh water and energy in the world today, taking into account both proprietary interests and environmental hazards. Although methane hydrates are not recent discoveries, it is only now that their extraction and production are becoming commercially feasible as a major new energy source. They are present offshore in almost every coastal state, and their economic potential for endowing those states with abundant natural gas is vast. This book develops a theoretical foundation for a model regulatory framework for those challenges and then provides a comparative legal analysis of existing laws and conventions to determine their fitness for offshore methane hydrates related activities. What’s in this book: Starting from law and economics theory as applied to environmental accidents, this book’s analytical framework addresses how best to provide for the opportunities and challenges presented by offshore methane hydrates. Issues and topics include the following: introduction to the science and technology of offshore methane hydrates; methane as a green energy source; research programs and agendas that are under way in Japan, South Korea, the United States, Canada, China, and India; carbon capture and sequestration; risks – methane emissions, large-scale combustion events, subsea landslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, deep-ocean eruptions; strategies of risk governance – during exploration, development, production, and abandonment of the extraction process; acts that enable seeping and venting of methane; regulatory compliance as a defense from liability; grounds for deference to rules of civil liability; potential impact on anthropogenic climate change; and private regulation and market-based incentives. How this will help you: As a road map to amending and revising existing laws and conventions, this book will be of inestimable practical value to policymakers in supporting the optimal risk governance of the development of methane hydrates. For potential entrepreneurs and operators, this book greatly reduces the legal uncertainty underlying their decision-making and investment decisions. Furthermore, this book enables a broad cross-section of legal practitioners and scholars to engage in this fascinating late arrival to the natural resources law and policy arena.
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