American Gas Association Comments on Natural Gas Emissions Reductions

Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association today released the following statement related to the White House’s announcement about regulations on the natural gas industry’s emissions:

“Safety is the core value and top priority for natural gas utilities, and due to continuing efforts to modernize infrastructure and enhance pipeline safety, natural gas emissions are on a declining trend. Natural gas utilities are committed to systematically upgrading infrastructure, driven by risk-based integrity management programs, and there is a growing effort to accelerate the replacement of pipelines no longer fit for service.

“These proactive efforts from natural gas utilities, along with involvement in important programs like the EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program, have contributed to the fact that natural gas emissions from utility-owned distribution systems have dropped 22 percent since 1990, even as the industry added nearly 600,000 miles of distribution mains and service lines to serve 17.5 million more customers, an increase of 32 percent. Nearly 90 percent of the emissions declines from distribution systems since 1990 are due to pipeline replacements. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 0.24 percent of produced natural gas is emitted from systems operated by local natural gas utilities.

“In 2014, AGA released a set of voluntary guidelines to serve as a resource for AGA members to assist in evaluating potential options that may lead to further emissions reductions for distribution systems, and AGA is working with EPA to develop a new voluntary Gold STAR certification for the natural gas distribution sector. The natural gas industry is actively engaged in this discussion along with rigorous, science-based analysis to ensure natural gas continues to be a leading solution for our nation’s clean and secure energy future. AGA members are committed to continuing this positive trend of declining emissions, and we look forward to continued collaboration with key stakeholders in this effort.”