Skip to main content

Kyle Isakower hosts press conference to respond to proposed methane regulations




Press conference call on methane emissions
Kyle Isakower, API vice president of regulatory and economic policy
Thursday, March 10, 2016

Opening statement, as prepared for delivery:

Good morning, and thank you for joining our call today.

In short, President Obama’s plans to add costly new regulations on methane when emissions are already falling could harm America’s shale energy revolution that has lowered energy costs for American consumers by $700 a year at the pump and $1200 annually in home utility bills.

Additional regulations on methane by the administration could discourage the shale energy revolution that has helped America lead the world in reducing emissions while significantly lowering the costs of energy to consumers.

The administration is catering to environmental extremists at the expense of American consumers.

I want to take a few minutes to set the record straight: The fact is that America is already leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

And even as oil and natural gas production has risen dramatically, methane emissions have fallen, thanks to industry leadership and investment in new technologies.

The administration’s proposals for additional methane regulations on oil and gas wells and transmission, from EPA and BLM, are duplicative and costly. They could also undermine the progress our industry has made lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s important to keep in mind that methane is the primary component of natural gas, so producers want to capture and sell more of it rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere.

Emissions will continue to fall as operators innovate and find new ways to capture and deliver more methane to consumers to heat homes and generate clean-burning electricity.

These industry-led efforts are a proven way to reduce methane emissions from existing sources, and they are clearly working.

EPA’s own greenhouse gas inventory reported that methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas well completions and work overs are down 79 percent since 2005. And methane emissions from field production of natural gas are down 38 percent since 2005, which is a direct result of industry innovation. And this is all while natural gas production has soared to record highs.

While EPA made headlines a few weeks ago with higher-than-expected methane emissions figures for 2013, it’s important to keep in mind that those were only draft figures for one year. The release of these partially revised numbers is misleading. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy herself said these new estimates do not necessarily indicate that emissions have risen, and we have every reason to believe that the final data, when issued, will still indicate a significant downward trend in emissions even as oil and natural gas production has risen.

We need to make sure that new regulations are necessary, not duplicative, and that they are based on sound science.

Otherwise, we are regulating for the sake of regulating, and that could harm consumers.

It could also result in undermining the overall goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Additional regulations on methane by the administration could discourage the shale energy revolution that has helped America lead the world in reducing emissions while significantly lowering the costs of energy to consumers

Let's not forget that the safe and responsible development of energy from shale has helped the U.S. cut CO2 emissions to near 20-year lows.

The last thing we need is more duplicative and costly regulations that could increase the cost of energy for Americans and that could potentially drive up greenhouse gas emissions.

Thank you, and now I’ll be happy to take any questions you have.