Air & Water Quality
New EPA Data Shows Continued Decline in Methane Emissions
On February 24, 2014, the EPA released its latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which shows that methane emissions from natural gas systems have declined significantly in recent years, thanks to new technologies and voluntary efforts by oil and natural gas producers. Even more impressive is that these reductions have been made as natural gas production has increased significantly.
The methane emission rates were already well below the threshold for natural gas to retain its clear environmental benefits based on last year’s EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The new EPA data shows that methane emissions fell 16.9 percent since 1990, with field production emissions falling more than 40 percent since 2006.
With EPA’s latest methane inventory, “enteric fermentation” from cows is the largest source of methane emissions.
The last two Greenhouse Gas Inventories demonstrate what the oil and natural gas industry has been saying for years: the EPA has long overestimated methane emissions from natural gas systems.
Fortunately, the new EPA data confirm the truth: that oil and natural gas producers have voluntarily employed new technologies to reduce methane emissions, and that natural gas is by far the cleanest fossil fuel we have.