Environmental Protection

Agency Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Reporting for Petroleum, Natural Gas

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting requirements for the petroleum and natural gas industries as part of the mandatory reporting program.

The petroleum and natural gas industries emit methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases, and are one of the largest human related sources of methane in the United States. Annual methane emissions from intentional venting and equipment leaks from these industries are comparable to annual emissions from more than 40 million passenger cars.

Beginning in 2011, petroleum and natural gas facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year are required to monitor and report all greenhouse gas emissions to EPA. Data collection for petroleum and natural gas sources will begin Jan. 1, 2011, with first annual reports due to EPA on March 31, 2012.

The data collected through the reporting program will provide important information about GHG emissions from petroleum and natural gas facilities. While methane is a potent greenhouse gas, trapping more than 20 times as much heat as carbon dioxide, it is also the primary component of natural gas, a valuable fuel. The data collected by the companies will help identify cost effective ways to minimize the loss of methane.

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, launched in October 2009, requires the reporting of GHG emissions data from large emission sources and fuel suppliers across a range of industry sectors. The data will help guide the development of programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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