The Texas Methane & Flaring Coalition (the Coalition) is committed to finding and implementing solutions to minimize methane emissions. A recent publication from Earthworks attempts to discredit the great strides industry has taken towards environmental progress, its pragmatic approaches to data collection, and its continuous innovation using pioneering technologies that offer real successes.
Industry-led organizations, such as the Coalition, bring together bright-minded and dedicated leaders who work diligently to learn from information sharing, commit to reviewing and making modifications to operations, and explore how technology can continue to reduce emissions and ensure that reliable, clean natural gas can continue making modern life possible now and in our energy future.
CLAIM 1: The Oil and Gas Industry is Worsening the Climate Crisis
According to the EPA, Americans are breathing the cleanest air in decades, as the U.S. reduced the combined emissions of criteria and precursor pollutants by 77 percent between 1970 and 2019. In fact, from 2018 to 2019, the number of days listed as unhealthy for sensitive groups dropped by 40 percent across the U.S., and the amount of criteria pollutants in the air continued to fall. The natural gas and oil industry has contributed substantially to these improvements, both by reducing its direct emissions and by supplying cleaner fuels to the power and transportation sectors, helping the U.S. lead the world in reducing carbon dioxide emissions since 2000.
CLAIM 2: Science Shows Methane is Skyrocketing, and Oil and Gas Fracking is to Blame
Highlighted in The Environmental Partnership’s (TEP) 2020 Annual Report, “methane emissions rates from five of the largest producing regions across the U.S. have fallen nearly 70 percent even as natural gas production in those regions tripled over the 2011-2018 period, demonstrating the industry’s hard work to efficiently deliver energy to consumers.”
TEP’s 2020 Annual Report also includes performance highlights from 2019, which show companies are actively evaluating and making changes to reduce emissions:
- 43 participating companies no longer have high-bleed pneumatic controllers in their operations
- More than 3,300 high-bleed pneumatic controllers replaced, retrofitted, or removed from service
- More than 10,500 additional gas driven controllers replaced or removed from service
- More than 2,800 zero-emission pneumatic controllers installed at new sites
- Emissions minimized by monitoring more than 44,000 manual liquids unloading events
These advancements are key to controlling emissions, as companies continue to fine-tune operations to ensure that methane emissions continue to be reduced.
CLAIM 3: Climate Commitments or Climate Hypocrisy?
Environmental progress is of the utmost importance to the oil and natural gas industry. Companies spend billions of dollars and significant resources each year on innovations, technologies, advancements and programs to reduce environmental impacts of the energy production that powers modern life. Companies also invest in land management and restoration programs, tree-planting initiatives, native seed programs, clean water projects, and more. Environmental stewardship will continue to be a priority for the oil and natural gas industry, and research, regulatory enhancements and emerging technologies will continue to ensure that oil and natural gas can serve our state and nation.