Privacy policy. Repairing and replacing old, leak-prone infrastructure in the natural gas distribution system will protect our communities from potentially dangerous explosions, save consumers money, and reduce potent methane emissions that fuel climate change,” said Representative Blunt Rochester, a member of the House Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee. Methane is a component of natural gas and a powerful contributor to climate change. The vast majority of methane leaks come from operations that have already been built. These operations alone waste more than $330 million worth of methane each year by simply burning it off or letting it escape into the atmosphere. Copyright © 2020 Environmental Defense Fund. President Obama highlighted the threat posed by the industry’s methane pollution in January 2015 when he announced a goal of reducing methane pollution from the oil and gas sector 40 percent to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025. Setting performance goals is important for achieving any objective. Methane is a component of natural gas and a powerful contributor to climate change. All Rights Reserved. The Natural Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth - its people, The natural gas pipelines in the U.S. could circle the planet nearly 100 times. Despite huge advances, large gaps in methane emissions inventories remain. Support Organic Farming Practices. This information will also take what has traditionally been a safety issue for utilities and broaden the focus to include not only safety, but also the environmental- and climate-consequences of methane leaks. The oil and gas industry leaks millions of tons of methane pollution every year. Organic farmers keep livestock longer instead of replacing old … WASHINGTON – The federal Bureau of Land Management today released the Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, its final standards for methane pollution from oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands. There are four basic steps that utilities, along with state and local regulators can, and should, take to identify and eliminate these environmentally harmful and wasteful leaks more rapidly and efficiently: We are working with scientists, utilities and technology providers to validate new mobile monitoring equipment and develop new scientific methods to translate the data gathered into actionable information. Securing the financial, technical and human resources necessary to achieve this accelerated pace will be key to achieving this solution. We have detailed recommendations, but the basic challenges are straightforward, and you can help tackle them.. 1. Map leaks in more places. And we emphasize that methane reductions can also clean up other air pollution that scientists have linked to asthma, heart attacks, and premature death. We encourage other states to join the effort. We have also weighed in on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed standards for addressing methane waste from oil and gas operations on public lands, which is the first federal initiative focused on existing facilities. California and Pennsylvania are in the process of making commitments to reduce methane leaks, fighting climate change and cleaning up the air in the process. An increased number of fixed sensors in methane facilities could also help prevent leakage, Schnell said. Waste Not: Common Sense Ways to Reduce Methane Pollution from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry, Leaking Profits: The U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Can Reduce Pollution, Conserve Resources, and Make Money by Preventing Methane Waste, EPA Sets Historic Standards for Methane from Oil and Gas, Must Finish the Job, New Oil and Gas Methane Inventory Numbers Back Pressing Need for Standards, Scott Pruitt Dances with “Fossil Energy AGs” on Methane, Scott Pruitt Wants to Take Us Back to the ’50s, NRDC: EPA Moves to Limit Methane Emissions, NRDC Statement on Federal Standard for Methane Pollution on Public Lands, Obama Administration Releases Final Standards for Methane Pollution on Public Lands. In a system that big, leaks are a persistent challenge, with significant implications for our climate. Regional studieshave found that up to 90 percent of emissions come from a small number of sources that leak large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports. its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. © Natural Resources Defense Council 2020 Privacy Policy As part of this project, EDF is analyzing methane data collected from specially-equipped Google Street View cars and publishing maps that show both leak location and relative leak size. We welcomed this step forward—offering expert comments on the proposal—but we’re also pushing the agency to tackle existing sources. The oil and gas industry wastes enough methane to power more than seven million American homes. Without standards that fix leaks at existing oil and gas sites, by 2020, 90 percent of methane pollution from the oil and gas industry will be from facilities that already exist today. Pound for pound, it traps more than 80 times as much heat on our planet, in the short term, as carbon dioxide. Senior Director, Energy Markets & Utility Regulation. There are programs in a majority of states to facilitate accelerated risk-based replacement of pipelines in the natural gas distribution system. We’re also recommending that companies set these goals over a three-year period — which will bring both necessary attention and resources to this environmental threat — and urging them to publicly report their progress each year, along with any unexpected challenges or opportunities.