Industry Leadership, Smart Regulations Key to Emissions Reduction
Posted September 5, 2019
The U.S. natural gas and oil industry is laser-focused on tackling the dual challenge of delivering energy for all and protecting our planet, keeping pace with record demand for affordable fuels while reducing emissions every step of the way.
By investing in innovative technologies, developing state-of-the-art standards and supporting smart regulations that reduce methane and other emissions, our industry is improving sustainability, particularly for the production of cleaner-burning natural gas.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent efforts to reconsider its New Source Performance Standards serve as an example of regulatory efficiencies that advance both industry performance and environmental protections. The proposal, which realigns with boundaries established by the Clean Air Act, regulates volatile organic compounds from common energy production sources – and continues to effectively reduce methane emissions as an important co-benefit. Actions that streamline state and federal programs, and offer greater certainty for compliance, allow the industry to deliver reliable energy and drive climate progress.
For example, in the Permian Basin, energy production grew 100% between 2011-2017, and methane emissions relative to that production fell nearly 40% – and basins across the country have achieved similar results. With industry-led initiatives like The Environmental Partnership, natural gas and oil companies are developing shared environmental goals and creating pathways for new technologies to reduce our footprint while still delivering vital energy resources to American families and businesses.
Today, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are at their lowest levels in a generation, largely due to the increased use of natural gas, evidence that energy and climate progress can coexist. Through continued development of sustainable energy resources and collective action toward emissions reduction, the natural gas and oil industry will continue leading efforts to improve our environment.
About The Author
Mike Sommers is the 15th chief executive of API since its founding more than a century ago. Prior to coming to API, Mike led the American Investment Council, a trade association representing many of the nation’s leading private equity and growth capital firms and other business partners. He spent two decades in critical staff leadership positions in the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House, including chief of staff for then-House Speaker John Boehner. Mike is a native of Naperville, Illinois, and a graduate of the honors program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Mike and Jill Sommers, a former commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, have three children and live in Alexandria, Virginia.