Texas: Unlikely to be a leader in methane reduction

Mar 12, 2014

Texas drilling rig
Credit blog.heartland.org

Texas is the nation’s top energy producer.  It could also be the leader in slashing emissions of methane.  But it’s unlikely that state environmental regulators will embrace the opportunity according to a recent article from the Texas Tribune.  

A recent report by the Environmental Defense Fund outlined steps that could save money in the long run, and reduce emission by as much as 40 percent by 2018. 

Industry representatives disagree about the urgency of curbing methane emissions when cow flatulence is a larger methane emitter.

Oil and gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing releases methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide.  The report contained suggestions for curbing releases: finding and repairing pipeline leaks, replacing compressor equipment, and capturing the gas before it escapes.

The study said recommended changes have an up front cost of $2.2 billion, but would pay in the long run as companies capture and reuse the stray methane.

More of the story by Jim Malewitz and Neena Satija for the Texas Tribune can be found here