DENVER -- Western Energy Alliance today submitted public comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the proposed methane regulations under the Clean Air Act. The Alliance detailed how certain provisions of EPA’s rule will be technically infeasible to implement, lead to higher energy prices for Americans, and will benefit foreign nations with less restrictive environmental regulations.
The Alliance submitted two sets of comments to the agency, including a letter of its own and a joint letter signed by a coalition of 21 oil and natural gas trade groups.
“The coincidence is not lost on us that EPA’s deadline for public comments on the proposed methane rule fell on the same day Pres. Biden met with an OPEC nation to discuss increasing natural gas production. The administration is burdening American oil and natural gas producers with extensive new red tape, including the methane rule, while favoring Russian and OPEC producers,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “EPA cites false information (*see below) and ignores three decades of our industry’s success reducing methane emissions by 23 percent even as we increased natural gas production by 71 percent. The agency is also ignoring the fact that natural gas electricity generation continues to be the primary reason the United States has reduced more greenhouse gases than any other country.”
“The oil and natural gas industry supports balanced efforts to reduce methane emissions. However, this rule would stifle innovation by unnecessarily limiting the use of advanced aerial and continuous monitoring systems. Requiring inflexible and redundant detection methods in the field means this rule would slow the up-take of innovative technologies that enable companies to more quickly find and fix methane leaks.”
“EPA’s proposed rule would also disadvantage small producers, threatening up to 20 percent of U.S. production that comes from low-producing wells. It would contribute to increasing the costs of natural gas for consumers by further discouraging U.S. production. As we’ve seen over the past year, when natural gas prices increase, coal electricity generation increases and with it, greenhouse gas emissions, which could easily overwhelm the savings that EPA claims from this rule.”
By the numbers:
Fuel switching from coal to natural gas in the electricity sector has reduced more greenhouse gas emissions than have wind and solar energy combined. Because natural gas has 55 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions than coal, it delivers huge GHG reductions in the electricity sector, where emissions are nine times higher. Natural gas has delivered 61 percent of the reduction in greenhouse gases resulting from fuel switching in the electricity sector, removing 3,351 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MMT CO2 Eq) since 2005. In contrast, wind and solar have reduced GHG emissions by 2,125 MMT CO2 Eq , or 39% of the total reduction.
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