Reports

Find, Measure, Fix: Jobs in the U.S. Methane Emissions Mitigation Industry

A new report shows the U.S. methane mitigation industry has undergone massive growth as state and federal policy makers have acted to reduce methane pollution and waste through new regulatory requirements. Since 2017, the methane mitigation industry’s service sector has nearly doubled in size, while the number of manufacturing firms has grown by one third since 2014.

The report, Find, Measure, Fix: Jobs in the U.S. Methane Emissions Mitigation Industry, was authored by Datu Research and offers a comprehensive assessment of this growing business sector and the jobs it creates. The report identified more than 200 companies with over 750 locations across the country that provide products and services to help the oil and gas industry reduce emissions.

>> Learn more about the report, here.

Status of Tribal Air Report (STAR) 2021

The National Tribal Air Association’s STAR is an annual publication intended to provide an understanding of the importance and impact of Tribal air programs. Nationally vetted Tribal needs, priorities, and recommendations are all outlined, and the successes and challenges experienced by the environmental professionals are highlighted by way of personal narratives submitted by the Tribes themselves. A budget analysis appendix is included in each edition of the STAR, and over the years a variety of other appendices have served to underscore important and relevant topics.

This report provides national leadership with recommendations on how to improve air quality in and around Tribal communities while detailing the successes and challenges of Tribal Air Quality Programs and the connections between air pollution, public health, and Tribes.  There are many references to oil and gas development and additional valuable information.

>> Read the report here.

Global Methane Assessment: Benefits & Costs of Mitigating Methane Emissions

The Global Methane Assessment shows that human-caused methane emissions can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade. Such reductions would avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045 and would be consistent with keeping the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5˚C) within reach.

The assessment, for the first time, integrates the climate and air pollution costs and benefits from methane mitigation. Because methane is a key ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone (smog), a powerful climate forcer and dangerous air pollutant, a 45 per cent reduction would prevent 260 000 premature deaths, 775 000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of lost labour from extreme heat, and 25 million tonnes of crop losses annually.

Download a PDF of the report, here.

Reclaiming Oil and Gas Wells and Addressing Climate Impacts: State Policy Recommendations

Unplugged oil and gas wells pose a significant threat to our climate, as well as having negative impacts on water, air, and public health and safety. But the inventory of these wells, including orphaned wells, has been growing, not shrinking, year over year. The longer these wells sit, the more damage they cause.

Reclaiming Oil and Gas Wells and Addressing Climate Impacts: State Policy Recommendations seeks to summarize the challenges state regulatory programs face and make recommendations for stronger policies that will help ensure that oil and gas sites are plugged and reclaimed in a complete and timely way. The most critical policy solution to ensure wells are cleaned up is to require financial assurance, or bonds, at a level that covers the full cost to plug and reclaim them. This strategy can ensure that industry—not states and taxpayers—will be responsible for these costs.

Download a PDF of the white paper here.

Methane Misinformation Scorecard

The Earthworks Methane Misinformation Scorecard shows that oil and gas company commitments on climate have failed to translate into significant climate action. The research tracks promises to cut methane and tackle climate from 8 major oil and gas companies and compares them to actions taken by those same companies to reduce climate pollution.

Misled: The Impact of the Trump Administration’s Agenda on Working Families and the Environment

As the current presidential term comes to an end, the nation is at a natural moment for taking stock. In evaluating the Trump administration, Americans will want to know: has this President improved my situation in life and is the nation’s future brighter? Analysis of a range of policy actions made by the Trump administration reveals that overwhelmingly the answer to that fundamental question for working families is a resounding “no.”

Tackling flaring: Learnings from leading Permian operators

Natural gas flaring has been a long-time concern for the oil & gas industry. In a decarbonizing world and increasingly competitive energy industry, eliminating routine flaring is critical to minimize climate impact and curtail economic waste.

As the Permian Basin witnessed a rapid growth in oil production over the past decade, the rate of routine natural gas flaring also increased at an alarming rate.

While flaring is a widespread industry problem, several Permian producers have found solutions to effectively minimizing flaring, achieving flaring intensity rates from less than 1% to 2.6% in the Permian, where the basin average is close to 4%.

Based on interviews with several of these Permian producers, this report outlines feasible and effective solutions to minimize flaring. Industry and other stakeholders can learn from these best-in-class producers to accelerate action and cost-effectively implement flaring solutions.

State of the Air 2020

The “State of the Air” 2020 found that, in 2016-2018, more cities had high days of ozone and short-term particle pollution compared to 2015-2017 and many cities measured increased levels of year-round particle pollution.

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, the landmark law that has driven dramatic improvements in air quality over its history. This is critical because far too many communities reported air pollution that still threatens health, and climate change impacts continue to threaten progress. Further, harmful revisions and setbacks to key protections currently in place or required under the Act threaten to make air quality even worse in parts of the country. “State of the Air” 2020 shows that we must not take the Clean Air Act for granted.

Hitting the mark: improving the credibility of industry methane data

Methane emissions challenge the global oil and gas industry and the role and reputation of natural gas in a decarbonizing world. Credibly demonstrating near zero methane emissions is both an imperative and a competitive differentiator for companies in the early phases of the energy transition.

However, the oil and gas industry has a methane emissions data problem. The majority of emissions data is derived from desktop calculations, not real-world measurements. Around the world, research reveals that methane emission inventories consistently underestimate, and in some cases overestimate, real emissions. This uncertainty can compromise the integrity and credibility of reported information for governments, civil society and investors.

Improving the accuracy of methane emission estimates is necessary to instill confidence that progress is being made. This report outlines an enhanced approach to measuring and reporting methane emissions.

While the journey begins with increased and improved data acquisition, it does not end there. This paper explores three critical actions that executives must champion to improve data accuracy and earn stakeholder confidence that methane commitments are real.

Climate and Health Risks of Liquified Natural Gas

The years between 2005-2018 witnessed a dramatic rise in “natural” gas (methane) production in the United States, driven by the use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, an extraction process that injects highly pressurized water and chemicals underground to fracture rock formations. Once fracked, the gas is typically transported and distributed domestically through a vast network of pipelines. However, when the gas is intended for export to another continent, pipelines are not an option. Instead, the gas is liquified and transported in special cryogenic tankers for overseas delivery. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is methane that is filtered (or “purified” to use the industry term) and supercooled to -260° F, turning it from gas to liquid. Liquefaction reduces the gas’s volume by 600 times, making it easier to store and transport in large quantities. This white paper examines LNG’s implications for our environment, health and climate.

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