Skip to main content

Energy Tomorrow Blog

API Stands Ready to Work with Biden Administration on Methane Regulation

methane  emission reductions  epa  the-environmental-partnership  regulation 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted January 21, 2021

Any discussion of addressing the risks of climate change should include a focus on reducing methane emissions from natural gas and oil production. While affordable, reliable energy provided by natural gas and oil is essential to our modern economy and Americans’ everyday lives, lowering methane emissions from that production also is essential.

Our industry has and will continue to broadly support methane emissions reduction – through technology, innovation and industry-led initiatives such as The Environmental Partnership, which is laser-focused on bringing down emissions, including a brand-new program to reduce flaring.

Cost-effective public policy also plays a critical role, which is why API is announcing its support for the direct regulation of methane from new and existing sources, as well as its desire to work with the new Biden administration to develop durable regulation that follows the law.

More »

EPA Advances Smart Regulation with Benefit-Cost and PM NAAQS Actions

national ambient air quality standards  epa  clean air act 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 15, 2020

Let’s make a couple of points from last week’s EPA actions – one that will bring transparency to some of the agency’s rulemaking processes and another that leaves in place effective standards for microscopic soot.

Transparency first. The goal in EPA’s new benefit-cost rule is pretty straight-forward: Americans should be able to judge whether the benefits of future Clean Air Act regulation are justified by potential costs to society. The new rule will help by requiring that future regulation under the act must be written using sound analyses, where data to evaluate environmental, scientific and economic impacts be transparent and replicable.

Many of the natural gas and oil industry’s opponents reject bringing cost-accountability to the development of regulation. Many of them also subscribe to a more-is-better federal regulatory approach – which gets us to point No. 2.

More »

Why EPA’s Modified Methane Rule is Good for the U.S.

emission reductions  epa  greenhouse gases  methane  the-environmental-partnership 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 14, 2020

Three reasons EPA’s newly modified rule on methane is good for the environment and U.S. energy – because both are critically important for our nation’s growth and prosperity:

1. Industry will keep reducing emissions while innovating for the future

2. The rule is consistent with the federal Clean Air Act

3. Effective state regulation is recognized



More »

Environmental Partnership Leadership and Modified Methane Rule

the-environmental-partnership  epa  emission reductions  methane 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 4, 2020

Let’s follow up on the recent news coming out of The Environmental Partnership – that the group is opening membership to industry’s midstream sector and that participants are discussing the best ways to reduce routine flaring.

Both are big-time developments; both show that the Partnership is doing what it set out to do when it was born in December 2017. Both will help protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions – even as our industry produces the energy Americans count on every day.

Adding midstream companies (including pipelines and storage infrastructure) comes as the Partnership reports more than tripling its membership, including 36 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers. It’s more than numbers. Each new member company means a new commitment to improve environmental performance in the field. Growth means the Partnership’s program to reduce methane emissions is extending further across the country. And now, here comes the midstream.

More »

Proposed Clean Air Act Rulemaking Promotes Regulatory Transparency

clean air act  epa  air quality  emissions 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted July 6, 2020

Smart regulatory reforms from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) support responsible energy development and strengthen the economy, while protecting human health and the environment. EPA’S proposed Benefit-Cost Rule under the Clean Air Act certainly fits with that approach.

The proposal would improve the rulemaking process by clarifying the environmental, scientific and economic impacts of newly proposed rules for the public, the industry and all stakeholders.

More »

EPA's Particulate Matter Proposal Makes Sense

epa  national ambient air quality standards 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 14, 2020

Some points and data that help frame EPA’s proposed rule on National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM), which would retain all six of the current standards:Annual concentrations of PM2.5 have dropped 39% since 2000, and the U.S. has reduced emissions that can contribute to PM – including an 84% drop in sulfur dioxide (SO2), and a 54% decrease in nitrogen oxide (NOx) – since 2000. Fuel switching to clean natural gas in the power sector played an important role in those reductions. This progress can be helped by continued implementation of existing regulations.

Also: Retaining the current PM NAAQS is supported by the absence of compelling new evidence to lower the existing standards. Another NAAQS review was completed in 2015, and at that time an economic analysis indicated there could be a significant impact on the income of families and potential job losses if a lower NAAQS option was selected.

And: EPA’s proposal is consistent with the recommendation of the agency’s independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, which voted 5-1 to keep the current standards.


More »

Capturing VOCs Emissions – and Methane

emission reductions  methane  epa  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 24, 2019

A key factor in EPA’s recent decision not to directly regulate methane is the simple fact that existing regulation of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with natural gas and oil production also reduces methane as a co-benefit.

It might surprise some, but on this point current EPA officials are aligned with their agency predecessors under President Obama.


More »

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.

More »

On Earth Day, Focusing on the Modern Energy Mix

environmental expenditures  climate  epa  emission reductions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 22, 2019

Earth Day 2019 finds the United States much better off environmentally than it was nearly 50 years ago, when the first Earth Day was marked in 1970. Much of the credit for that belongs to the nation’s energy sector where, thanks to the U.S. natural gas and oil revolution, Americans can talk about sustainable energy, economic growth and environmental/climate progress – all in the same breath of markedly cleaner air. …

Most importantly, on Earth Day 2019 we see multiple benefits of a modern energy mix, anchored by abundant natural gas and oil, which is at the heart of growth and simultaneous progress on important environmental and climate fronts. The modern U.S. natural gas and oil industry is leading in driving this progress.


More »

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.

More »