The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) is pleased with today’s announcement from the White House concerning methane emissions from oil and gas operations. The announcement bridges several areas of concern we have regarding the growth of shale gas operations in Pennsylvania and the pressing need to take steps to minimize the release of greenhouse gases, particularly methane.
While Pennsylvania has been at the forefront of advancing strong controls for shale gas operations, one area where other states have moved ahead of us is in the reduction of methane leaks coming from the exploration, production, and transmission of natural gas. The state of Colorado recently enacted a suite of standards for methane emissions that can serve as a model for Pennsylvania and the nation.
Fugitive methane emissions waste valuable natural resources and money. More importantly, as recognized by today’s announcement, methane released to the atmosphere has a much greater impact as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
PEC looks forward to following the White House initiative and believes that Pennsylvania should actively embrace an examination of its own regulations in the wake of today’s announcement as well as the progress in this area among other states.
(For more information, see: Climate Action Plan: Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions)