The U.S. has been emitting a lot more methane than we thought, says EPA

By Chris Mooney, The Washington Post.

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a major upward revision to its estimates of total emissions of methane, a hard-hitting if short-lived greenhouse gas, in an annual inventory that the agency submits to the United Nations. The revisions will further up the stakes in a political battle over regulations that the agency is preparing to issue that could affect operations at thousands of oil and gas wells.

“Data on oil and gas show that methane emissions from the sector are higher than previously estimated,” said the agency in a news release upon the report’s release. “The oil and gas sector is the largest emitting-sector for methane and accounts for a third of total U.S. methane emissions.”