EPA Estimates For Methane Emissions Are Off

The EPA may not have accurately predicted where methane leaks were taking place.
A fracking wastewater impoundment. (Photo: National Energy Technology Laboratory/U.S. Department of Energy.

A fracking wastewater impoundment. (Photo: National Energy Technology Laboratory/U.S. Department of Energy.

By Marissa Higdon

At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, researchers said the EPA estimates of the amount of methane emissions leaked into the atmosphere in 2011 were not totally accurate.

The EPA estimated that the oil and gas industries would leak approximately 8.4 million metric tons of methane, which was not that different from the numbers found by the study. Yet, the EPA did not accurately predict where methane leaks were taking place. They predicted that there would be more leakage from the hydraulically fractured wells then there really were, and the EPA predicted that there would be less leakage from equipment leaks than what was actually measured.

This means that the main focus of reducing methane emissions should be equipment leaks not hydraulically fractured well completions, said the General Counsel and President of the V+ Development Solutions Division of Southwestern Energy Company Mark Boling.

“This study shows that the amount of methane emissions form the natural gas production sector can be effectively minimized by applying reasonable emission capture and control practices,” he said.

Dr. Vignesh Gowrishankar, the Staff Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council said the new data reveals where new, cost effective regulation can be implemented, but Darren Smith, the Environmental Manager of Devon Energy Corporation said the industry will work to reduce methane emissions on its own.

 

About TRNS Washington Desk

View all posts by TRNS Washington Desk
TRNS Washington Desk
News updates from on and around Capitol Hill.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

New Documentary Focuses On Soviet Hockey Team’s Heyday

TRNS interviews filmmaker Gabe Polsky.

Pentagon In “No Rush” To Retake Mosul

“We aren’t there yet,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters on Friday.

Interview With Elana Simon At The White House

Elena Simon introduced President Obama Friday where he laid out a new healthcare initiative known as Precision Medicine

Obama Precision Medicine Initiative Seeks $215 Million

Precision medicine is the science of discovering medicines that target the underlying cause of disease rather than the symptoms.

Pentagon Holds Out On Blaming Taliban For Kabul Airport Attack

Two U.S. contractors were killed and a third was injured in the Friday attack at Kabul International Airport.

LISTEN: The Weekend Ahead – January 31 – February 2, 2015

The Day Ahead Logo

Italy’s legislature will try for a third time to select a president, President Obama submits his 2016 budget and it’s Groundhog Day!