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Leaking Methane: Natural Gas, Climate Change, and Uncertainty

September 2020

Citation: ELR 10695

Author: Chandler Randol, Jean M. Mosites, John Jacus, Theresa Pugh, and Ben Ratner

Recent studies suggest natural gas is significantly more carbon-intensive than previously realized, with methane having at least 25 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. If the United States is to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals, it must curtail methane leakage between 30% and 90%, and leakage is anticipated to cost producers $2 billion each year in lost product. Absent regulations from the federal government and many states, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector are developing innovative solutions. On April 8, 2020, the Environmental Law Institute hosted a panel that explored cutting-edge practices to monitor and mitigate leaking methane. Below, we present a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Chandler Randol is Manager of Educational Programs for ELI. Jean M. Mosites (moderator) is a Shareholder at Babst Calland. Richard Hyde is the Executive Director of ONE Future. John Jacus is a Partner at Davis, Graham & Stubbs. Theresa Pugh is the President of Theresa Pugh Consulting, LLC. Ben Ratner is the Senior Director, EDF+Business, at Environmental Defense Fund.

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