This week, President Obama announced that his administration will pursue new regulation of methane emissions from existing oil and gas wells—the latest attack on homegrown energy. The President’s announcement was not a surprise, as the Administration has already undertaken a rulemaking process for new wells.
However, there is ample evidence to suggest that new regulations are not necessary. Industry already has a strong incentive to reduce methane emissions. Since methane is the primary component of natural gas, reducing emissions allows companies to sell more. Methane emissions from natural gas wells have declined substantially since 2005. In fact, EPA’s latest greenhouse gas inventory reported that methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells are down 79 percent since 2005, and total methane emissions from natural gas systems are down 11 percent since 2005.
Even more regulations on energy production will serve only to increase costs for consumers and threaten jobs, all for a debatable impact on overall emissions. When it, taken in totality with the Administration’s power plant regulations, new energy taxes, and numerous others, it is clear that American energy is under an all-out assault from its own government.