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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Strengthening EPA Emissions Standards

emission reductions  epa  methane 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 29, 2019

With EPA’s reconsideration of its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with natural gas and oil production, some insist the changes will trash environmental protections.

This “rollback” narrative is false and largely designed to play to the extreme environmentalist crowd. Contrary to that view, modifying the NSPS could reduce duplication with state programs, provide greater clarity for industry in its regulatory compliance and, ultimately, further lower methane and other emissions and protect the environment by making it easier for operators to gain approvals for use of new, innovative technologies to detect fugitive emissions for repair. In fact, this procedural correction is best described as a realignment with the agency’s obligations under the Clean Air Act.

The well-worn “rollback” tale also dismisses the effective role of technology, innovation and industry initiative in reducing emissions – such as The Environmental Partnership. It discounts industry’s strong motivation to reduce emissions, which it has done in growing measure amid increased natural gas and oil production.

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Natural Gas, Lower Methane Emissions and Rising Opportunity

natural gas from shale  emission reductions  methane  the-environmental-partnership 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 19, 2019

Even with natural gas playing a leading role in reducing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in a generation and strong industry initiative to keep lowering production-related methane emissions, natural gas opponents remain on the attack, including a new study that's critical of natural gas from North American shale (see rebuttals, here and here).

More authoritative and trustworthy is the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which issued these methane-related conclusions in a study published earlier this year …

U.S. natural gas has proven environmental and climate benefits, and it’s critically important here at home and around the world, helping to reduce energy poverty and improve peoples’ lives.

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Flaring, Infrastructure and Embracing the Dual Challenge

natural gas  methane emissions  emission reductions  climate  safe operations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 8, 2019

Our country needs abundant energy AND climate progress – both of them, continuing to advance together, as they have in the U.S. in recent years. Embracing the dual challenge of making energy abundant and accessible while reducing energy-related emissions is the realistic path to growth and opportunity that can broadly benefit the nation and the lives of individual Americans.

Certainly, our industry is focused on new innovations and technologies that continue to reduce emissions from natural gas and oil production and improve the environmental performance of our operations and facilities. …

The objective is continued progress. High-production areas, including the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico and the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana, need additional pipeline infrastructure to take away natural gas when it accompanies oil production. More infrastructure could reduce the amount of flaring – regulated, limited burning of methane – that takes place.

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Environmental Partnership: Paving the Way for Continuous Progress

the-environmental-partnership  emission reductions  methane  climate 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted July 30, 2019

We’re proud of the work of The Environmental Partnership – an industry-led initiative launched in 2017 that is leading the way to further reduce methane emissions from energy operations.

With 65 members to date, The Partnership serves as a model for industry leadership on shared environmental goals and creating pathways for new technologies and techniques – like optical gas imaging cameras, drones and other devices – to drive down emissions, while providing the energy vital to every American family and business.

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U.S. LNG and Cleaner, Healthier Lives Across the Globe

natural gas benefits  emission reductions  carbon dioxide  methane  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 2, 2019

There’s very little that satisfies climate extremists – including practical solutions right at hand.

We live in a world where a huge chunk of the globe’s energy is supplied by burning coal, biofuels and waste. U.S. natural gas – exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG) – is an integral part of the world’s emissions solution, not the enemy some of these folks portray it to be. ...

We can do better than the dark future advocated by opponents of natural gas and oil. And exporting some of America’s abundance is opportunity for others to live better, healthier lives. 

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NOAA Study Increases Understanding of Methane Emissions

methane  emission reductions  natural gas 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 24, 2019

There’s lots to know and understand from a new NOAA study on U.S. methane emissions from 2006-2015, starting with the study finding that there has been “major overestimation” of industry’s methane emissions trends in some previous studies.

While U.S. natural gas production has increased 46 percent since 2006, scientists found “no significant increase” in total U.S. methane emissions. During this same period, the NOAA study found only a “modest” increase in emissions from natural gas and oil activity. (In the context of surging natural gas production – emissions intensity, or emissions per unit production – industry emissions are even smaller.)

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Industry's Focus on Cutting Methane Emissions

emission reductions  methane  oil and natural gas  epa  the-environmental-partnership 

Erik Milito

Erik Milito
Posted March 18, 2019

The oil and natural gas industry is laser-focused on reducing methane emissions from production for two very important reasons.

First, the risks of climate change are real, requiring real solutions. Our industry takes these risks seriously, and we are driving solutions – evident in our innovation and technical work and in our long working relationship with the EPA.

Second, our members are in the business of providing natural gas, of which methane is the chief component, for clean electricity generation, to heat Americans’ homes and to supply manufacturers and other businesses that have realized billions in cost savings as a result. There’s no question that industry is highly motivated to capture as much methane as possible for progress on climate goals and for its customers. The results speak for themselves.

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The Smart Path to Reliable Energy and Methane Emissions Reduction

emission reductions  methane  the-environmental-partnership  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 30, 2019

Reducing methane emissions from natural gas and oil development is a primary industry mission – underscored at last summer’s World Gas Conference, where speakers from all over the world talked about increased methane capture and reduced emissions.

The reasons are clear. Fundamentally, our industry is in the business of producing and delivering natural gas, of which methane is the main constituent. Capturing as much methane as possible is smart and efficient from a business standpoint.

Equally important, natural gas and oil companies recognize that reducing methane emissions is responsive to the expectations of society, which wants energy to be produced safely and in a way that’s environmentally responsible. Operators are innovating and deploying technologies to achieve those goals. …

All of these points are important to counter a faulty narrative – that more government regulation is the only way to reduce emissions. This view often faults efforts to craft a regulatory approach that strives for greater efficiency, is achievable and fosters innovation.

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EPA's Missed Opportunity with Proposed OOOOa Amendments

emission reductions  methane  production  standards  epa 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted November 14, 2018

The good news is that EPA’s proposed amendments to the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) OOOOa rule will continue the rule’s ability to effectively reduce volatile organic compound and methane emissions from all emission sources addressed in the previous administration’s rule. Methane is the primary component of natural gas – a key product for industry. Producers are incentivized to bring that product to consumers, making its capture a top priority from a business standpoint, in addition to the environmental considerations. Unfortunately, the proposed rule includes several missed opportunities, and could ultimately stifle innovative new technologies in emissions detection and increase the cost of energy for Americans.

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Natural Gas and 'Clean Energy Week'

natural gas  emission reductions  the-environmental-partnership  carbon dioxide  methane 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 26, 2018

It’s Clean Energy Week, which API is proud to sponsor. Thus, a new commitment by an oil and natural gas industry group – the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) – to reduce methane emissions is  well-timed indeed. Three big points from OGCI’s announcement and Clean Energy Week: 1) Clean natural gas is integral to climate progress; 2) Industry is leading in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; 3) Climate action isn't exclusive to government regulation or special-interest agendas.

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