Is EPA finally set to directly regulate oil and gas natural gas emissions? Today, methane accounts for nearly 9 percent of domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Although U.S. methane emissions have decreased by 11 percent since 1990, they are projected to increase through 2030 if additional action is not taken.
The largest source of CO2, and of overall greenhouse gas emissions, was fossil fuel combustion and CH4 emissions. Methane (CH4), the major constituent of natural gas is more than 20 times as effective as CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
Anthropogenic sources of CH4 include natural gas and petroleum systems, agricultural activities, landfills, coal mining, wastewater treatment, stationary and mobile combustion, and certain industrial processes. However, natural gas systems, which includes everything from wellhead burner – production, processing, transmission and distribution, were the largest anthropogenic source category of CH4 emissions in the United States in 2011 with 144.7 Tg CO2 Eq. of CH4 emitted into the atmosphere.
In his January 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama emphasized two goals: the critical need to limit greenhouse gas pollution, and support for domestic natural gas and oil production, as well as renewable energy sources. His administration is seeking a 40 percent to 45 percent reduction in methane leaks and emissions of other volatile organic compounds from oil and gas wells and supporting infrastructure.
In support of both goals, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) directed they will regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector directly, rather than relying on voluntary programs or regulating associated pollutants. The proposal would be first-ever direct regulation on methane as part of an Obama administration strategy expected to curb methane emissions by as much as 45 percent by 2025.
The rules, which will be unveiled this summer 2015, will apply to all new oil and natural gas wells, but they will not address emissions from existing sources.
All of this begs two questions. Why has methane enjoyed an exempt stratus from EPA and the Clean Air Act? And Why exempt existing facilities in the natural gas system from the new Action Plans issued by the White House.
This webinar with expert speaker Dr. Barry Stevens will unravel the natural gas system and identify point sources of methane emissions. He will also discuss the voluntary actions by the gas industry and the regulatory actions by the EPA to reduce emissions, while trying to answer, “why has methane enjoyed an exempt stratus from EPA and why are existing facilities in the natural gas system exempt from the Whitehouse's new actions plans?"
Who Should attend
Dr. Barry Stevens
Dr. Barry Stevens is the founder and president of TBD America, Inc. a Technology Business Development consulting group serving the public and private sectors in the energy, fuels and water treatment industries. Barry has deep industry knowledge and front line experience in unconventional gas development (shale gas... More info