Methane Regulations Not Based On Science

on April 01, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Waste Fuels Energy Production In Incinerator Plant

Methane emissions have dropped significantly. Since 2005, emissions from field production of natural gas have dropped 38 percent, and emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells have plunged 79 percent.

API natural gas output and methane from output

These facts bear repeating in light of the Obama administration’s announcement that it is pursuing yet another set of methane regulations. Not only are the additional regulations duplicative and unnecessary, given industry’s success in reducing emissions under current regulations, but the new rules could actually undermine progress.

The hydraulic fracturing-driven shale energy revolution is a primary reason the U.S. leads the world in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Greater availability of clean-burning natural gas has helped drive down carbon emissions for power generation and has lowered utility costs for families and businesses. Costly new regulations that discourage shale energy production put all those benefits at risk.


Methane is the primary component of natural gas, and producers prioritize capturing it for delivery to consumers to heat homes and generate clean-burning electricity. We can expect emissions will continue to drop as operators implement additional innovative technologies.

Considering the success the industry as already achieved in reducing methane emissions, it’s hard to see this move as anything other than regulating for the sake of regulating.

By Jack Gerard

Originally posted March 30, 2016

Energy Tomorrow is brought to you by the American Petroleum Institute (API), which is the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 500 corporate members, from the largest major oil company to the smallest of independents, come from all segments of the industry. They are producers, refiners, suppliers, pipeline operators and marine transporters, as well as service and supply companies that support all segments of the industry.