As World Shifts to Renewables, Methane Leaks from Oil and Gas Production 60 Percent Greater than EPA Estimate

According to the Environmental Working Group, both coal and natural gas generation fell last year for the first time ever, as these forms of energy lost ground to cheaper wind and solar technology.

The Extinction Chronicles

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2018

Sixty percent more methane escapes from U.S. oil and gas operations than the Environmental Protection Agency currently estimates, according to a study led by the  Environmental Defense Fund.

The study, to which 15 universities and research institutions contributed, attributes the difference to the agency’s failure to account for equipment malfunctions at drilling sites, and processing and pipeline facilities.

According to the study, 13 million metric tons of methane – the main component of natural gas – are leaked from these facilities, amounting to more than 2 percent of total oil and natural gas production. The leaked methane is worth $2 billion. This would be enough to supply 10 million homes with gas each year.

The new estimate undermines the argument that natural gas is helping combat climate change, as methane is 80 times more potent a greenhouse gas…

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