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API: Onerous methane regulations threaten emissions reduction progress

Carlton Carroll | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, December 4, 2015 – EPA’s proposal for additional methane regulations on oil and gas wells and transmission are duplicative and costly,  Howard Feldman, senior director of regulatory and scientific affairs, told reporters today on a conference call to preview API’s official comments on EPA’s proposed regulations. He said new rules could also undermine progress the industry has made lowering greenhouse gas emissions. 

“America is already leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Feldman said. “Even as oil and natural gas production has risen dramatically, methane emissions have fallen, thanks to industry leadership and investment in new technologies. “Methane is the primary component of natural gas, and emissions will continue to fall as operators innovate to capture and deliver more methane to heat homes and generate clean-burning electricity.”

EPA’s greenhouse gas inventory reported that methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells are down 79 percent since 2005. Total methane emissions from natural gas systems are down 11 percent since 2005.

“Safe and responsible development of energy from shale has helped the U.S. cut carbon dioxide emissions to near 20-year lows,” Feldman said. “Additional regulations on methane by EPA and other agencies could discourage hydraulic fracturing and the shale energy revolution that has helped America lead the world in reducing emissions. Onerous and unnecessary new regulations could have a chilling effect on the American energy renaissance, our economy, and our incredible progress reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The American Council for Capital Formation funded an independent review by NERA Economic Consulting that found inconsistencies and other issues with calculations the administration used to generate the social cost of methane.  NERA’s review found that the benefits provided by the rule, after compensating for flaws in EPA’s calculation, could be as much as 94 percent lower than what EPA projects.  After correcting the costs and inflated benefits of the rule, the net cost of the rule could be more than $1 billion by 2025, according to API.

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 30 million Americans.

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