AGA believes that natural gas is poised to serve as a foundation fuel for the U.S. economy for years to come. This prospect has increased attention on methane emissions from natural gas systems. While methane is a greenhouse gas, natural gas produces far less carbon dioxide than coal or oil when combusted and serves as a clean, affordable complement to renewable energy.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the annual natural gas emissions rate per unit of natural gas production in 2012 was estimated to be 1.3 percent. And of that, only 0.24 percent was emitted from systems operated by local natural gas utilities.
A concerted effort by natural gas utilities to upgrade our nation's pipeline network in order to enhance safety has also contributed significantly to a declining trend in emissions from the natural gas distribution system.