Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Oil and gas emissions down, greenhouse gas emissions on the rise, EPA reports says

Oil and gas industry greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise, but methane leakage continues to fall, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report released on Tuesday, Pamela King reports for EnergyWire. "Petroleum and natural gas systems emitted 236 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere in 2014, up from 228 million metric tons CO2e in 2013. Methane emissions ticked down from 77 million metric tons CO2e in 2013 to 73 million metric tons CO2e last year, marking the third consecutive year that measurement has declined."

"Reductions in methane emissions appear to be the result of existing regulation, and further cuts will be made possible only by additional rulemakings, said Matt Watson, associate vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund's climate and energy program," King writes. "A table toward the bottom of EPA's energy industry profile indicates that the bulk of emissions reductions between 2011 and 2014 came from gas well completions and workovers, a regulated source, he said." (EPA graphic)

Watson said in a statement, "This data shows that regulations work and promises of voluntary action don't. The largest methane reductions come from a practice that is subject to national standards, while the biggest increases come from sources that remain largely unregulated." (Read more)

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