Gas Utilities Support Methane Reduction Innovations
Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) applauds the U.S. Department of Energy for allocating up to $35 million for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program focused on developing technologies to reduce methane emissions. AGA is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through smart innovation, new and modernized infrastructure, and advanced technologies that maintain reliable, resilient, and affordable energy service choices for consumers.
“We fully support Secretary Granholm and the Biden Administration’s efforts to identify innovative ways to further reduce methane emissions from the natural gas delivery system as it continues to play a critical role in achieving our nation’s energy and environmental goals,” said AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert. “We continuously examine our 2.6 million miles of infrastructure for methane reduction opportunities and are investing in ways to help other industries reduce emissions by injecting their methane into our delivery system. Many AGA members are also piloting new technologies to reduce methane emissions from their day-to-day operations and research funding from ARPA-E will help accelerate those efforts.”
A concerted effort by natural gas utilities to upgrade our nation’s pipeline network to enhance safety has also reduced methane emissions by 73 percent according to the 2020 Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA Inventory also shows that as little as 0.1 percent of the natural gas delivered nationwide is emitted from the local distribution systems owned and operated by America’s natural gas utilities.
AGA’s Climate Change Position Statement includes ten commitments for reducing emissions and eight principles for an effective national policy approach to addressing climate change. Those commitments include further reducing methane emissions from natural gas utility systems and utilizing recognized best practices to reduce methane and transparently report emissions data.
At an annual presentation in January to the CFA Society of New York, American Gas Association Chair David Anderson announced that, with the engagement of the financial community, AGA and the Edison Electric Institute have released a jointly-developed environmental, social, governance, and sustainability reporting template, which provides investors with uniform and consistent quantitative data and qualitative information, saying:
“Utilities are committed to taking both an upstream and downstream approach by encouraging natural gas suppliers to continue to take steps to lower their methane emissions. New in 2021 - completing a two-year effort - we have expanded this effort by engaging natural gas producers and the midstream companies on a reporting platform that encompasses the entire value chain, and calls for using consistent protocols to report their methane intensity. This is not meant to replace regulations, but to provide a meaningful tool to increase transparency and to continue to decrease emissions.”
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 76 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 73 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than thirty percent of the United States' energy needs.