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API: Additional regulations on methane are unnecessary to continue lowering emissions

Carlton Carroll | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2015 – Methane emissions from oil and natural gas production are falling, and new regulations on methane proposed by the Obama administration could disrupt America’s energy renaissance, according to Jack Gerard, API president and CEO.

“As oil and natural gas production has risen dramatically, methane emissions have fallen thanks to industry leadership and investment in new technologies,” Gerard said. “And even with that knowledge, the White House has singled out oil and natural gas for regulation, where methane emissions represent only two percent of total greenhouse gas emissions.

“Emissions will continue to fall as operators innovate and find new ways to capture and deliver more methane to consumers, and existing EPA and state regulations are working. Another layer of burdensome requirements could actually slow down industry progress to reduce methane emissions.”

A 2014 University of Texas study found that methane emissions are 10 percent lower than what the same research team found in a study released in September 2013, and EPA recently observed that methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing have fallen by 73 percent since 2011. 

“Onerous new regulations could threaten the shale energy revolution, America’s role as a global energy superpower, and the dramatic reductions in CO2 emissions made possible by an abundant and affordable domestic supply of clean-burning natural gas,” Gerard said. “We need our government to implement sound policies, but this plan seems to be based on politics. We hope EPA will work with industry during the regulatory process to ensure that any regulations are based on science and technology and do not impair the industry’s ability to supply America with energy.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 25 million Americans.