Letter to the editor: Committed to methane reduction
Regarding the letter “EPA rollbacks dangerous” (Nov. 16, TribLIVE): There’s a lot of misinformation about regulations governing reduction of methane emissions.
Most Pennsylvanians probably don’t know that U.S. methane emissions from natural gas systems decreased 16 percent from 1990 to 2016, even as natural gas output increased more than 50 percent. Methane is a valuable product, and preventing leaks is not just a responsibility, it’s smart business.
Also, the U.S. leads the world in cutting carbon dioxide emissions — now at 25-year lows — thanks to clean natural gas, which helps reduce emissions of CO2 and numerous other pollutants.
The Trump administration’s technical corrections to methane regulations are just that — technical corrections, not a regulatory rollback. The revised regulations cover all the same emission sources addressed in the Obama administration’s regulations. Aside from these federal rules, Pennsylvania has among the most rigorous regulations and methane reduction controls in the nation.
Industry is focused on continuing safe operations and further reducing emissions, and our commitment is not based on government regulations. The U.S. natural gas and oil industry invested an estimated $339 billion from 1990-2016 toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations.
Industry is leading efforts like the Environmental Partnership, where over 50 operators have agreed to voluntarily implement emission reductions and environmental performance measures, outside of any governmental requirements, because we believe in responsible development.
Methane reduction is an important priority, and the natural gas and oil industry is committed to continuing our progress — in Pennsylvania and nationwide.
Stephanie Catarino Wissman
The writer is executive director of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania.