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API supports the EPA’s reconsideration of emissions rule

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has reiterated its support for cost-effective regulation that targets emissions of volatile organic compounds from natural gas operations.

The API comments came at a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rule, where the EPA received testimony on extending compliance deadlines to allow it to revisit the NSPS regulations finalised last year.

The API’s Senior Director for Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Howard J. Feldman, said: “Methane emissions from the natural gas industry have fallen 18.6% even as production increased by 50% between 1990 and 2015. This is a tribute to the industry’s ongoing commitment to technological innovation and our strong incentive to capture more of what we sell.”

The EPA’s 2012 NSPS rule provided a roadmap for effectively reducing emissions from natural gas and oil operations, including methane. In fact, methane emissions from hydraulically-fractured natural gas wells have fallen nearly 79% since 2005, and the increased use of natural gas to fuel the power sector has played a significant role in reaching today’s near 30-year lows in carbon dioxide emissions.

Feldman added: “As demonstrated through previous regulatory efforts, EPA’s focus must be on cost-effective regulations that target emissions of volatile organic compounds, providing the co-benefit of methane emission reductions […] The industry has led the way in pursuing new technologies and game-changing energy research that will fuel innovation for years to come. With these investments, the oil and natural gas industry is supplying the energy our economy needs, while advancing America’s technological competiveness, lowering carbon emissions and creating jobs.

“We will continue to work with EPA, other federal agencies and Congress to promote a future with a smarter regulatory approach based on science-based solutions. Collaboration can build on industry success without sacrificing jobs or jeopardizing economic, environmental and energy security benefits.”

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