Leaking Profits: The U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Can Reduce Pollution, Conserve Resources, and Make Money by Preventing Methane Waste

When natural gas is extracted, processed, and transported, methane -- which makes up as much as 90 percent of natural gas -- is often lost to leaks or vented into the atmosphere. Since methane is a global warming pollutant much more potent than carbon dioxide, methane pollution accelerates and magnifies climate change. Capturing currently wasted methane for sale could reduce pollution, enhance air quality, improve human health, conserve energy resources, and bring in more than $2 billion of additional revenue each year. Ten technically proven, commercially available, and profitable methane emission control technologies together can capture more than 80 percent of the methane currently going to waste. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), other federal agencies, and the states should require use of these technologies for methane control, and the oil and gas industry should move quickly to adopt these measures.