Methane Emissions Definitely Either Going Up or Down

By Jack Fitzpatrick, Morning Consult.

As the Obama administration aims to cut methane emissions, environmentalists and natural gas industry leaders are at odds over who’s to blame for the emissions, how much can be cut, and which agencies should regulate them.

But a focal point of the debate is still unclear: How much methane is being emitted from natural gas systems, and is it more or less than in previous years?

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 greenhouse gas inventory report, released earlier this month, indicated that methane emissions from natural gas systems were significantly higher than in previous reports, even when measuring emissions for the same year. Emissions estimates for 2013 were reported at 6,295 kilotons in the 2015 report and then at 7,023 kilotons in the 2016 report, an 11.6 percent increase for the same year.