<i>Wall Street Journal</i> Editors Inadvertently Prove Need for EPA Methane Standards

Did you see today's "Meth Heads" editorial in the Wall Street Journal? The editors of America's premier laissez-faire publication eagerly argue that the oil and gas industry should be trusted to curb its own leakage of heat-trapping methane pollution voluntarily. As proof, they cite EPA measurement of a striking 73% reduction in methane leakage from newly fracked natural gas wells.

Well, d'oh! [Sound of hand slapping forehead!] That's the one part of the natural gas system that's already subject to EPA clean air standards!

These EPA standards were issued in 2012, and final compliance was due at the start of this year. Surprise, surprise: Monitoring in the intervening years shows a 73% leakage reduction as companies have come into compliance.

The venerable Journal editors have made the very best case they could for extending EPA standards to the rest of the leaky natural gas production, transmission, and distribution system.

Happy New Year.