In early November of last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a statement indicating that the agency intended to move forward with additional regulation of methane from oil and gas operations. The proposed Clean Air Act rules, announced November 2, 2021, targets emissions requirements that are currently on the books for new, modified and reconstructed sources in the oil and gas industry.
As a part of the proposal process, the EPA sent out a request for information (RFI) to the public seeking input on the proposed notice. In response to the RFI, the Energy Workforce and Technology Council formed a technical working group to evaluate the supplemental proposal language and submit comments to the EPA to better inform the agency on the impending rule and potential impacts on the energy services and equipment sector.
The Council’s comments to the EPA highlighted the existing operations and technologies that are deployed by Member Companies that have lead to record-low overall emissions levels. From optical imaging to flaring mitigation, Council Member companies are, and have been, employing effective and efficient emissions-reducing practices technologies in the industry for over 10 years. These innovations have been born from within the industry as Member Companies are constantly working to improve and expand efforts by providers to deliver energy cleaner and more efficiently.
Energy Workforce Member Companies are at the forefront of clean energy production through the development of technologies and processes that significantly reduce fugitive methane emissions. It is crucial for the EPA to consider that the companies powering the American economy are the same entities that are actively identifying where the problems exist and deploying innovative solutions to meet their own stringent standards.
The Council encourages the Environmental Protection Agency and the Biden Administration to adopt policies that advance the ongoing efforts of the energy industry to curb methane emissions and bolster the ability of our companies to continue to expand and deploy the technologies that are needed to meet the emissions goal. The Council looks forward to working with EPA as the regulatory process moves forward with the hope that the agency will craft a feasible final rule for the industry and can encourage further innovation.
Phillip DeBauche, Director, Environmental and Technical, writes about the Council’s environmental and HSE efforts. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights industry practices, workforce development, Council activities and more.