Energy markets may now be awash in natural gas but the fuel has, well, fueled an economic boom in the United States. Not only has it changed the way electricity is generated but it has also given the manufacturing sector here a critical edge. Anything standing in its way? Excessive methane releases could block progress.
And that’s why US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy focused on the problem during her speech this week to IHS CERAWeek in Houston. There, she said such releases, which are 25-times more potent than carbon dioxide, are greater than originally thought. But she quickly added the Obama administration is providing flexibility to drillers when it comes to cutting those emission rates.
“The proposed standards present a common-sense way to make sure that as the natural gas industry continues to grow. We’re doing what we can to reduce methane pollution,” McCarthy said. “And the proposed standards are cost effective by design – they’re built to reduce pollution that’s fueling climate change while supporting responsible energy development at the same time.”