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Energy Tomorrow Blog

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.


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EPA, Smarter Regulation and Lowering Emissions

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

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 13, 2018

Let’s push back against a narrative springing up around EPA’s proposed improvements to the 2016 standards on  emissions from new natural gas and oil production sources – which the agency says will streamline implementation, reduce duplication with state requirements and decrease unnecessary burdens on domestic energy producers.

First, while API reviews EPA’s proposal, it’s important to note that it appears the rule will continue to protect public health and reduce emissions through standards that are smarter, science-based and that promote greater cost-effectiveness – while industry keeps on delivering the energy Americans use every day.

The narrative is based on a mythology that natural gas and oil companies don’t care about emissions and won’t develop new technologies and innovations to capture more and more emissions unless Washington makes them do it. False and false.

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Methane Regulation and Risking Emissions Progress

natural gas production  epa regulation  methane  emssions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 12, 2016

We’ll say it again: Methane emissions are falling. And they’ll continue doing so because industry wants to capture as much of the primary component of natural gas as possible, for delivery to consumers.

So that’s the context for EPA’s regulatory initiative. Basically, the agency looked at the energy landscape – one of surging production but also declining emissions – and determined the next step should be more regulation. The resulting new rules could hinder America’s shale energy revolution, one that has helped lower U.S. energy-related carbon emissions 12 percent below 2005 levels, allowing the United States to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions.

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Regulators Gonna Regulate – and Regulate

hydraulic fracturing  oil and natural gas production  epa  regulation  methane 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 10, 2016

When EPA announced a push for additional regulation on methane emissions from new oil and natural gas operations late last year, we said it looked like a solution in search of a problem – especially considering the agency’s own data showing that since 2005 methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells had fallen 79 percent.

Regulators gonna regulate. And then regulate some more.

With the Obama administration’s announcement that it wants to regulate methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources – again, where remarkable reductions already are happening – shows EPA and the White House much more concerned about extreme agendas than the needs of American consumers.

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EPA Should Recognize Market-Driven Climate Progress

natural gas  epa  regulation  co2 emissions  methane emissions  climate 

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted January 13, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pledges to start 2016 “hitting the ground running” to build on a “monumental” 2015. In a blog post last week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signaled her agency will continue its focus on methane and carbon regulations.

Absent from EPA’s plans was any acknowledgement that methane and carbon emissions are already down. Recognizing progress we’ve already made – and the market factors contributing to that success – is critical to avoiding costly, duplicative regulations that could undermine that progress, as well as economic growth.

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Consumers, Small Businesses and the RFS

analysis  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  e15  e85  epa  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 2, 2015

Finalized federal requirements for ethanol use in 2014, 2015 and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are scheduled to come out later this year. As EPA completes work on them, the interests of American consumers should be put ahead of special ethanol interests. At the same time, policymakers should recognize that the RFS is broken, out of date and should be repealed.

Ethanol supporters argue that RFS mandates can be met by pushing out more E15 and E85 fuel, which contain higher levels of ethanol than E10 gasoline that’s standard across the country. But this would disregard potential risks to consumers and small businesses. A number of organizations argue that point in official comments to EPA on the RFS, which can be found here.

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Colorado Governor: 'Concerned’ About Ozone Rule’s Potential Impacts

analysis  ozone  colorado  economic impacts  epa  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 1, 2015

Surely, more state governors soon will echo the concern of Colorado’s John Hickenlooper for the potential economic impacts on his state of stricter ozone standards proposed by EPA. That is, any governor concerned about what it could mean for growth and progress if large chunks of his or her state were declared out of compliance.

In Colorado, that could be more than $19 billion in gross state product losses from 2017 to 2040 and nearly 11,000 lost jobs or job equivalents, according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting.

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Moving Beyond a Give-and-Take Energy Policy

analysis  oil and natural gas development  access  president obama  epa  regulation  Jack Gerard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 25, 2015

Earlier this year at the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) annual conference in Washington, ClearView  Energy Partners’ Christine Tezak described the Obama administration’s energy policy as “give a little, take a little,” further characterizing it as “transitioning from scarcity to adequacy.”

It’s accurate. Handed a generational opportunity by America’s energy revolution to advance U.S. economic and security interests, the administration has responded by alternately embracing oil and natural gas development (in limited ways) and working to corral it. Given the chance to build a comprehensive, long-term energy strategy to carry the United States safely into mid-century, the administration has played “small ball” on the energy development side while unleashing a flood of unnecessary, self-limiting proposals largely untethered to scientific and economic analysis.

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EPA – Messing With Success on Methane

analysis  methane  epa  regulation  natural gas production  ozone  renewable fuel standard  Jack Gerard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 18, 2015

So, the EPA looked at declining methane emissions …

Down 79 percent from hydraulically fractured wells since 2005; down 38 percent from natural gas production overall from 2005 to 2013; and emissions down – while natural gas production soared ... 

... and decided new methane regulations were the thing to do anyway.

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Reckoning EPA’s Ozone Proposal

analysis  ozone  epa  regulation  economic impacts  oil and natural gas development 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 13, 2015

It’s expected that EPA will submit its recommendation for new ozone standards to the White House Office of Management and Budget next week, with the final rule due by Oct. 1.

The final outcome will be momentous. EPA could – and should – leave the existing standards in place at 75 parts per billion (ppb). That would be remarkable, given the long rulemaking process and the agency’s current inclination to regulate more, not less.

Conversely, reducing the standards to 65 ppb or possibly lower would make it the costliest regulation ever, with the potential to halt economic expansion and infrastructure development dead in their tracks. Stricter standards could result in a $270 billion reduction in GDP per year on average from 2017 through 2040 and an annual loss of 2.9 million job equivalents, according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting.

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