Last June, President Obama issued a Climate Action Plan to address our nation’s need to reduce carbon pollution to protect our kid’s future and curb the effects of climate change. On March 28, the White House released the Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.
Fracking Impacts Methane Emissions
According to some scientific studies, methane accounts for as much as 14% of the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The government suggests that methane is closer to 9% of emissions and has fallen since 1990. However, there is speculation that because of the increase in shale oil and shale gas production, methane will increase by the year 2030 because the gas releases during hydraulic fracturing. Those staggering projections include increasing as much as 620 million tons of carbon dioxide if no further actions are taken.
Climate Action Plan and Oil and Gas Industry
While the proposal may lead to new regulations in the oil and gas industry and landfills, it mainly relies on voluntary actions to reduce methane. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this spring, will assess the key methane emission sources within the oil and gas industry, and by summer, may issue new regulations impacting landfills. Additionally, by fall, the EPA may introduce new methane limits for the oil and gas industry, which would become final by the end of 2016.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will propose new oil and gas industry standards using public land. The new rules will include the reduction of venting and flaring gas during oil and gas production. The BLM will soon provide more information about a program to capture and sell or dispose of methane from coal mines on federal lands.
The methane strategy touts that reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, is a key approach to take action on climate change. Additionally, finding ways to re-purpose methane will help local economies by generating revenues, triggering job growth, improving safety, and leading to cleaner air.
Perhaps this video on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan speech last June may be of interest.
Thermal Mass flow Meters and Methane Emissions
If you would like more information on how mass flowmeters can monitor emissions, visit our white paper, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Monitoring Using Thermal Mass Flow Meters.