Falling Short-State Oil & Gas Rules Fail to Control Methane Waste

Right now, when companies produce oil and gas, they release a tremendous amount of methane into the atmosphere. Much of this waste occurs on federally owned lands and subsurface minerals. In the West, where the majority of the nation’s public lands are located, existing state rules to guard against waste fail to address this problem. Fortunately, the federal government is setting new standards to provide a strong floor of protection, force the industry to act more responsibly, and guide states in updating their waste rules.

American Lung Association State of the Air Report

The American Lung Association’s 2016 “State of the Air” report found continued improvement in air quality, but more than half (52.1%) of the people in the United States live in counties that have unhealthful levels of either ozone or particle pollution.

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 2016

Conservation Economics Institute: A Review of the Economic Factors Surrounding the Capture of Methane from Oil and Natural Gas Development on Federal Public Land

Conservation Economics Institute has found that the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed methane waste rule will have a net positive impact on oil and gas production and revenue in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin.

Clean Air Task Force:Mind the Gap Report

And yet, these concrete steps forward still won’t reduce methane emissions to the levels targeted by the Administration. This is due primarily to the fact that EPA’s proposed methane standards are limited to new and modified sources, and will not apply to existing sources of methane pollution in the oil and gas sector.

Draft EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Economic Analysis of Methane Emission Reduction Opportunities in the U.S. Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Industries, ICF International, March 2014

The Emerging Methane Mitigation Industry, Datu Research, October 2014

Taxpayers For Common Sense report on lost royalties through methane that is leaked, vented or flared on federal land, ONRR, August 2014

American Lung Association Poll Shows Widespread Bipartisan Support for Stronger Methane Pollution Standards, More Clean Air Protections, American Lung Association, December 2014

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