News, research, and policy information on how -- and why -- Pennsylvania and other gas-producing states are working to control methane emissions.
Natural gas's move to replace coal as America’s most-used electricity source is responsible for most of the decline in planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions over the last few decades. Natural gas produces about half as many carbon emissions as coal.
But as the world struggles to meet emissions reductions goals set in the Paris climate change agreement, the natural gas industry knows it must confront its biggest problem — leaks of methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas that is more potent than carbon dioxide.
Since Gov. Tom Wolf was elected, he has remained committed to reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and his administration has made repeated offers to industry to help craft solutions. Unfortunately, those overtures were met with crickets. And then obstruction.
Shareholders at the natural gas driller Range Resources narrowly approved a resolution this week calling on the company to review its policy on cutting methane emissions in a vote that advocates say is the first to succeed on the methane issue at an energy company that operates in Pennsylvania.
environmental defense fund
A new analysis estimates that Pennsylvania’s oil and gas companies emit at least five-times more methane pollution than they report to the state.
Last month the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released long-awaited revised versions of two permitting proposals which are designed to help control methane emissions from new unconventional natural gas wells and their accompanying transmission infrastructure. At the moment, the Department is anticipating finalizing the proposals in early-to-mid 2018.
One thing that Pennsylvanians of any political stripe should agree on is that waste is a bad thing. Whether we are talking about money, time, or energy, the prudent--and conservative--approach is always to minimize waste.
When President Donald Trump announced he wants no part of the Paris climate agreement, binding nearly all of the world's nations to decreasing global warming emissions, Pennsylvania's role in taking on methane — a powerful greenhouse gas that is the main component of the state's growing oil and gas industry — came into sharper focus.
energywire (e&E news)
At the federal level, the Senate voted yesterday against repealing a Bureau of Land Management rule that regulates methane waste on public lands. But at the state level, support for methane regulations is alive and well among a growing chorus of environmentalists, politicians and industry leaders.
The Senate on Wednesday narrowly blocked a resolution to repeal an Obama-era rule restricting methane emissions from drilling operations on public lands — with three Republicans joining every Democrat to preserve the rule.
find and fix [pdf]
job creation in the emerging methane leak detection and repair industry
The following report introduces policy makers, companies, researchers, and the general public to the growing methane leak detection and repair (LDAR) services industry and analyzes its economic impact to date and future growth potential.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
Methane (CH4) is a growing environmental concern. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is contributing to climate change. Science confirms methane is a problem that requires urgent attention. Reducing emissions of both methane and carbon dioxide is critical to slowing the rate of earth’s warming and limiting peak warming.
LEGISLATION WOULD LIMIT PENNSYLVANIA'S ABILITY TO CONTROL METHANE EMISSIONS
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council opposes Senate Bill 175, which would prevent the Department of Environmental Protection from enacting any state-specific measures to limit methane emissions from natural gas operations.
CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
Mechanical Engineering Department Head Allen Robinson spoke at an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) technical briefing and press conference about research efforts to measure and map methane leaks in Pittsburgh on November 15.
PENNSYLVANIA ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL
In Pennsylvania, we are likely on our way to meeting the goals of the Clean Power Plan because of increased installation of renewable generation sources and a massive switch from coal to natural gas. But the benefits of that new natural gas generation can be negated if we do not comprehensively control for methane leakage between well pad and burner tip.
Pennsylvania is no stranger to fossil fuels. Its coal powered the industrial revolution, its innovators drilled the world’s first oil well, and now it’s America's second largest gas producer, after Texas. Today, the state understands that oil and gas production carries a responsibility to deal with the impacts that follow.
office of governor tom wolf (pa)
Governor Tom Wolf has launched a groundbreaking strategy to reduce emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, and has been implicated in health risks. The plan is designed to reduce emissions from natural gas well sites, compressor stations and along pipelines, and will protect the environment, reduce climate change, and help businesses reduce the waste of a valuable product.
“Today’s announcement by Governor Wolf is welcome news and sets the stage for much needed regulatory clarity that will improve air quality, protect Pennsylvanians, and have significant impacts on the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Davitt Woodwell, President of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. “This is an important step, and Governor Wolf is right to commit to best-in-class management of the impacts of natural gas development including the strong air quality protections that Pennsylvanians deserve. We look forward to swift implementation.”
CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
A Colorado State University-led research team has completed the most comprehensive field study to date of the amount of methane being emitted at the nation's natural gas transmission and storage infrastructure, which includes roughly 2,000 compressor stations distributed along 300,000 miles of pipeline, underground storage facilities and other equipment.
pittsburgh business times
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council has called for robust controls on methane emissions.
Here's why: Methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame. If you want to avert near-term acceleration of greenhouse gas emissions, reducing methane should be at the top of everyone's list.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
The U.S. oil and natural gas system, including the production, gathering and processing, transmission, and distribution of natural gas, is the nation’s largest industrial source of methane emissions (EPA 2014b). Methane emissions also present an economic challenge for the oil and gas industry. Total methane emissions across the oil and gas sector are estimated to be worth $1.8 billion.1 To help the oil and gas industry meet these challenges, dozens of companies from different backgrounds have developed technologies and services to reduce methane emissions. The result is a new and rapidly emerging methane mitigation industry.