Obama's EPA overstates pollution from fracking, groups say

Obama's EPA overstates pollution from fracking, groups say




The Obama administration has overstated the greenhouse-gas emissions from unconventional natural-gas production, the American Petroleum Institute and the America's Natural Gas Alliance claim in a study released today. As Bloomberg reports, the two industry groups—which oppose U.S. regulation of hydraulic fracturing to extract gas from shale formations—found in the study that total-gas emissions during the process are about half the level estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The study responds to the EPA's greenhouse-gases inventory released in 2011, which the organizations say "substantially increased estimates of methane emissions from petroleum and natural-gas systems." Venting methane into the air when unloading liquids at the well is about 86% lower than the EPA's estimates, according to the study. In April, the EPA proposed rules that would force drillers to capture or flare methane released when fracking—as the process is commonly called—starts at a well. Industry groups say the requirements are too onerous or redundant, in part because they require actions many drillers are already taking. You can see the complete 54-page study here.



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