Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 12, 2021
There’s a good deal of discussion in Washington about a national clean electricity standard, which would use government mandates to set targets for reducing carbon emissions from the power sector.
Such an approach is one way to go, but there’s another – one that already has achieved significant greenhouse gas emissions by using the power of the marketplace to effect change: U.S. natural gas.
The increased use of natural gas is the leading reason for reduced U.S. emissions in recent years, including carbon dioxide. At the same time, technologies and industry innovation have helped reduce methane emissions associated with natural gas and oil production, and new advances are on the horizon. This pathway leads to a lower-carbon future and the ability to meet growing world demand for energy.
Posted May 3, 2021
The World Bank is out with its annual Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report, and there’s positive news on U.S. flaring from natural gas and oil production – underscoring industry’s commitment to reduce emissions while continuing to supply the affordable, reliable energy Americans use every day.
The report showed a 32% decrease in U.S. flaring from 2019-2020. This included decreased flaring in three key shale regions – the Permian, Bakken and Eagle Ford. Lower production last year associated with the pandemic was a factor, but the report also notes infrastructure improvements to capture and use gas that in the past would have been flared.
Posted March 25, 2021
API’s new Climate Action Framework is much more than a list of policies and actions to address the risks of climate change. It’s a values statement, the natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to lead on the twin necessities of cleaner energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
We can achieve both. The natural gas and oil industry details in this framework an action plan to get it done, working together with government and other stakeholders. As the plan states in its opening sentences, it’s the opportunity of our time.
Posted March 5, 2021
We don’t yet know the full extent of the Biden administration’s strategy for U.S. energy. As API President and CEO Mike Sommers has said repeatedly since the election, our industry is ready to work with the administration for a better economy, cleaner environment and progress toward climate goals. Based on remarks by former Secretary of State John Kerry at the CERAWeek conference, there’s important common ground for a cooperative relationship.
“I don’t object per se to fossil fuel," said the president's special envoy for climate. "I object to the byproduct of fossil fuel, which is the carbon. That’s the problem, and the methane, that's another major problem emerging. So, we have to be able to abate. It’s the debate between unabated and abated production.”
Common ground: The natural gas and oil industry also is for abating carbon emissions – and has been working to reduce carbon and capture methane, through innovation and technology, for some time.
Industry investment, innovation and problem-solving on emissions came up so often during CERAWeek, it was hard to track them all. If, as Kerry said, the administration sees carbon and methane emissions as the targets – and not the energy from natural gas and oil – industry not only is a willing partner, it’s one that’s tackling those challenges head on.
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.
Posted October 27, 2020
With a high-tech workforce and a future-focused approach, America’s natural gas and oil industry is delivering on its commitment to sustainability and climate solutions. Energy operators are continuously improving environmental performance and working to lower greenhouse gas emissions – and groundbreaking technologies are making the difference.
API member companies are driving research and development on innovative concepts, like carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), and industry leaders are collaborating to address emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds in America’s largest energy producing regions.
Since 2017, The Environmental Partnership has provided leadership on industry-driven efforts to tackle the dual challenges of supplying affordable, reliable energy while making significant environmental progress. The program encourages the phase out of high-bleed, gas-driven pneumatic controller use to mitigate methane emissions in natural gas production.
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
Posted August 13, 2020
The U.S. oil and natural gas industry has long shared the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) goal of reducing emissions from its operations and has consistently and successfully done so while meeting America’s energy needs every day. Specifically, methane is the natural gas we use in our homes and businesses, so operators have a strong incentive to bring it to market.
Methane emissions rates from five of the largest oil and natural gas producing regions across the U.S. – including the Permian and Marcellus basins in Texas, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania respectively – were down nearly 70% from 2011 to 2018, even as production in those regions increased dramatically. Industry is committed to building on these positive trends through voluntary initiatives like The Environmental Partnership.
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.
Posted July 15, 2020
The Environmental Partnership continues to grow, broadening the reach of the industry initiative to further reduce emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds across the country.
In releasing its annual report, the Partnership announced it is expanding its membership to midstream companies. The Partnership, which has tripled the number of participating companies since it was launched, currently includes 36 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers.
Again, the Partnership’s membership growth means that more and more companies have signed on to the Partnership’s strategy of bringing operators together to learn from each other, collaborate on technologies and best practices and to take actions that improve their environmental performance. More broadly, this growth shows industry’s commitment to lower emissions and protect the environment while also supplying the energy that makes modern life possible.