Streamlining Industry Reporting on Methane

At the American Gas Association’s annual event at the CFA Society of New York today, our Chair of the Board of Directors David Anderson unveiled the Natural Gas Sustainability Initiative (NGSI) Methane Emissions Intensity Protocol. A joint effort with the Edison Electric Institute and an outgrowth of their two-year work on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting, the NGSI Protocol provides a consistent approach for company-level reporting of methane intensity within each segment of the U.S. natural gas supply chain. The goal of NGSI is to measure, report and recognize progress in advancing sustainability across the supply chain.

“This protocol provides a comprehensive, consistent and comparable method to calculate and disclose methane intensity,” Anderson said to more than 150 people who attended the event virtually. “This is not meant to replace regulations, but to provide a meaningful tool to increase transparency and to continue to decrease emissions.”

The detailed Natural Gas Sustainability Initiative (NGSI) Protocol describes the methodology and provides data entry sheets for each covered segment – production, gathering and boosting, processing, transmission and storage, and distribution. The NGSI Protocol methane metric is more comprehensive than the metric used in the 2019 and 2020 editions of the AGA-EEI ESG Template for gas distribution operations, which included only methane data reported to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP). The NGSI Protocol methane metric also includes sources and emissions that fall below EPA’s regulatory reporting threshold, in alignment with the ONE Future Protocol.  Each data sheet is prepopulated with emission sources, emission factors for non-GHGRP sources, and equations that automatically calculate segment-level methane emissions intensity when a company inputs its data.

AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert addressed the virtual event today as well sharing a view on what is happening in the nation’s capital and what natural gas utilities expect from the Biden Administration.

“Today, natural gas utilities are taking a major step forward to further demonstrate our commitment to reduce emissions from our own operations and to collaborate with the entire natural gas industry to demonstrate an all-in commitment to emission reductions. We continue to reduce emissions in our own operations and across the energy economy. Investors, customers and policymakers can see that we are a solutions-oriented industry and an essential part of this nation’s cleaner energy future,” Harbert said.