Oil and natural gas are the primary source of energy for the global economy, supplying roughly 80 percent of total global energy demand. The U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects a significant drop in coal being offset by rising usage of natural gas, wind, and solar energy. The environmental benefits are, and will continue to be profound, as natural gas as an energy source has a low carbon dioxide emissions profile.
View/Download COGA's Climate Change Statement: Current Status, Challenges, and the Way Forward
Colorado was the first state in the country to implement methane emission rules for oil and natural gas production, reducing more than 60,000 tons of methane emissions per year. The emission controls for ozone forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) also reduce methane emissions. As Colorado-based VOCs emissions from industry drop, so do methane emissions.
- Methane (CH4): Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills. According to the EPA, methane represents 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. 3.1 percent comes from oil and natural gas.
July, 2019 shows that between 1970 and 2018, the combined emissions of six key pollutants dropped by 74 percent, while the U.S. economy grew 275 percent. Between 2016 and 2018 six important air pollutants – including NOx, VOCs, and particulate matter – continued to drop.
“One of America’s great but untold environmental success stories is that we have made – and continue to make – great improvements in our air quality, thanks largely to state and federal implementation of the Clean Air Act and innovation in the private sector”
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
Every year, 7 million people die from an airborne pollutant known as particulate matter, which is known as PM 2.5. PM 2.5 is by far the world’s most lethal pollutant. A billion people still lack any access to electricity, and another billion only have intermittent access. Each year, millions of lives can be saved with commonsense environmental priorities focused on reducing deadly particulate matter in the air.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Colorado: Can You Comply?
The Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR) has created a simple calculator to give users the opportunity to test alternative ways to comply with Colorado’s new greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions targets.
Click below to access the CSPR Emissions Reduction Calculator to input your own reductions in different emission sectors, to test how far reductions will need to go, in order to comply with the mandate.
Studies & Research
STUDY: Long‐Term Measurements Show Little Evidence for Large Increases in Total U.S. Methane Emissions Over the Past Decade
Significant over estimations of methane emissions from oil and natural gas production in the United States were made by relying on faulty measurements, according to research sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Studies show conflicting estimates of trends in methane (CH4) emissions from oil and natural gas operations in the United States resulting in previous studies showing increases of methane emission volume may have been overestimated by as much as 10 times.
Natural gas production in the United States has increased 46 percent since 2006, but there has been no significant increase of total U.S. methane emissions and only a modest increase from oil and gas activity, according to a new CIRES-led study.
BOULDER, Colo. — Scientists made "major overestimations" of methane emissions from oil and gas production in the United States by relying on faulty measurements, according to new research sponsored by NOAA.
The probe, led by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Colorado Boulder, also found some previous studies showing significant hikes in methane emissions overestimated the amount of pollution coming from oil and gas activity, by as much as 10-fold in some cases.
Colorado is widely known for having some of the country’s strongest oil and natural gas regulations, particularly with respect to air emissions. While Front Range air quality has improved significantly over the past 30 years, addressing ozone challenges in Colorado is an extremely difficult, economy-wide undertaking, with only 20 to 30 percent of ozone-forming emissions produced by Colorado-based human activities.
Voluntary Ozone Reduction Efforts By Industry
A variety of voluntary emissions reduction measures during forecasted high-ozone days can be deployed based on individual company assets, facilities, and production schedules. Possible ozone mitigation activities include but are not limited to the following:
- Alternate vehicle fueling times
- Reduced vehicle traffic and miles traveled
- Managed drilling and completions on high ozone days to reduce emissions
- Lower emitting tank load outs
- Delayed operational activates on high ozone days