AXPC Supports Methane Regulations that Balance the Essential Value of U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Production with the Global Challenge of Addressing Climate Change

WASHINGTON – Today, The American Exploration and Production Council, representing the biggest independent exploration and production companies in the United States, released its position on methane regulations and the industry’s commitment to addressing emissions from our operations. Data from IHS Markit shows that U.S. independents combined produce about 83 percent of the nation’s oil production and 90 percent of its natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL).

“AXPC companies are focused on reducing methane emissions from their operations and support effective and reasonable regulation of methane that balances the essential value of U.S. oil and natural gas production with the global challenge of addressing climate change. The historic reductions in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions over the last decade have been driven by the emergence of U.S. natural gas production as a low-cost source of reliable energy, and it is important that regulatory policy enables us to build on that success. If we are going to address climate change, our industry must be at the table,” said AXPC CEO Anne Bradbury.

Even under the International Energy Agency (IEA) Sustainable Development Scenario, which assumes every country meets their Paris commitments, the world will still get almost 50 percent of our energy from oil and gas in 2040.

Consistent with our Climate Policy and Principles, AXPC companies believe collaboration amongst policy makers and industry partners is needed to find solutions that will meaningfully drive down emissions, while allowing U.S. independent producers to meet the global demand for affordable and reliable oil and natural gas.

Regulation of methane emissions should:

    • Encourage innovation and flexibility, instead of command-and-control regulations that hinder the goal of reducing methane emissions
    • Allow and incentivize the development and deployment of technologies to monitor and mitigate methane emissions for compliance purposes
    • Appropriately quantify and assess the feasibility, costs, and benefits of implementing new requirements for existing facilities
    • Avoid creating duplicative and overlapping regulatory regimes at the federal and state levels
    • Properly interpret and follow the relevant provisions of the Clean Air Act

BACKGROUND:
Upstream oil and gas operations are highly regulated for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and methane emissions; our companies work continually to maintain compliance with all applicable local, state, tribal and federal regulations. AXPC members have long worked to ensure their operations minimize impacts on air quality, including taking on voluntary emission reduction initiatives often above and beyond what federal regulations require.

Upstream oil & natural gas producers, by deploying new innovative technologies, have dramatically reduced methane emissions associated with our operations while increasing production:

    • All AXPC members are part of The Environmental Partnership, a voluntary industry initiative that seeks to drive constant improvement and further best practices to reduce emissions and flaring.
    • Methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems are down 23 percent since 1990, according to the 2020 edition of EPA’s Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. Technologies that include more advanced leak detection equipment and innovative methane reduction methods are driving this decrease in emissions during a time when oil and natural gas production increased dramatically.
    • According to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States is a world leader in protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while producing affordable energy. From 2005 to 2018, total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 12 percent. In contrast, global energy-related emissions increased nearly 24 percent from 2005 to 2018.

About the American Exploration and Production Council:
AXPC is a national trade association representing the largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the United States. We lead the world in the cleanest and safest onshore production of oil and gas, while supporting millions of Americans in high-paying jobs and investing a wealth of resources in our communities. Learn more at https://www.axpc.org/

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