The U.S. oil and gas industry could cut its methane pollution 40-45% by 2025 through strong federal standards that reduce waste, save the industry US$1 billion per year, and recapture enough natural gas to supply heating and cooking for more than five million homes, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) reports in a fact sheet released last week.
“A single faulty pressure release valve can leak nearly $110,000 worth of gas annually,” the organization reports. And “many methane mitigation measures, like infrared cameras and tunable diode lasers, are commercially available and low-cost. In fact, many measures pay for themselves within a year or two.” But “while their efficacy in reducing pollution has been proven in the field, their adoption is far from universal.”
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E2 notes that the U.S. methane mitigation industry comprises nearly 80 firms, almost 60% of them small businesses, and the industry’s median hourly wage is nearly $31.00, 60% above the U.S. average.
The White House has been discussing methane regulations for some time. InsideClimate News reported that California’s new rules, released in the wake of the Aliso Canyon disaster, will be the country’s toughest if they are adopted.
“The regulations would require regular inspections for leak detection and repair and apply to many parts of the supply chain, including storage facilities, processing plants, wellheads, and related equipment,” ICN reports. “The rules for underground storage are particularly important” in light of the Aliso Canyon leak, which was finally capped late last week after 16 weeks of uncontrolled emissions. (Disclosure: The Energy Mix Curator Mitchell Beer is a member of E2.)
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