EPA recently announced new appointees to the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Council (CASAC). The high caliber of advisors EPA is now turning to means that eminently qualified scientists with diverse technical backgrounds will be performing the scientific peer review underpinning our most important environmental regulations.
Optimism abounds in the oil and natural gas industry since November 9th when Donald Trump unexpectedly won election. Like any industry, ours is a diverse one with all political viewpoints. But it was no secret that the Obama Administration was hostile to our industry and used regulatory overreach to make American development and production of oil and natural gas more difficult. The optimism results from not having four more years of a hostile regulatory environment, and the chance to overturn the redundant federal regulatory overreach that went far beyond reasonable oversight of oil and natural gas.
In a recent episode of JEOPARDY!, host Alex Trebek waded into fracking misinformation hot water with a question about methane emissions from fracking. The premise to the question falsely stated that “mucho methane” is released during hydraulic fracturing.
Perhaps the oil and natural gas industry has become a victim of its own success. In the face of an onslaught of new methane regulations, Western Energy Alliance has pointed repeatedly to industry’s success in reducing methane emissions without cumbersome federal rules. To make that point, we used EPA’s own greenhouse gas inventory data. According to EPA’s 2015 Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the industry reduced methane emissions from oil and natural gas production by 21% since 1990 while total gas production skyrocketed by 47%.
After years of collaboration with the Utah Division of Air Quality (UDAQ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8, and the Ute Indian Tribe, we have the first phase of the 2014 Uinta Basin Emissions Inventory. This emissions inventory provides the most accurate data on oil and natural gas emissions in the Uinta Basin. Western Energy Alliance worked tirelessly with UDAQ to provide the base data for the inventory, which UDAQ has compiled and just released.