External Affairs Coordinator, Cabot Oil & Gas
The Scranton Times-Tribute recently criticized the Think About Energy series in an editorial titled Act on Methane, but their facts are all wrong.
Recently the Scranton Times-Tribune published an editorial titled Act on Methane. I found this editorial to be a disservice to their readership. Not only did it undermine the educational purpose of the “Think About Energy” series, but it all grossly misrepresents methane emissions from Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry.
For several years now, the Think About Energy series has been helping residents understand Pennsylvania natural gas production and how businesses can take advantage of the clean fuel’s environmental and economic benefits. The series recognizes achievement and encourages future opportunity. Natural gas is making a significant impact on Northeast Pennsylvania’s economy.
I encourage the Times-Tribune to cover the outstanding work of companies like Global Tungsten & Powders (GTP), Medico Industries, Inc., Gatorade, and Procter & Gamble more regularly to understand how this local natural gas is impacting our everyday lives as consumers.
When it comes to air quality, the Times-Trubine suggestion methane emissions will rise because of production increases is egregiously wrong. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection data shows, between 2009-2013, methane emissions from oil and gas systems in the Commonwealth declined by 0.65%, despite an increase in production of 977%.
Moreover, whenever discussing methane, it is equally important to recognize other improving air quality standards, something the commentary failed to address. According to Pennsylvania DEP Air Quality Annual Emissions Data collected since large-scale Marcellus Shale production began in 2008: SO2 emissions are down 68%; NOx emissions are down 29%; and, particulate matter emissions are down 38%.
These numbers provide quantitative proof existing regulations, are working! This is thanks to Pennsylvania’s robust and effective program already in place to control emissions. The same thing is also happening with respect to CO2 emissions.
As a result of Pennsylvania’s natural gas production, our air quality has never been better, our communities have benefited by retaining and creating high-quality job opportunities, our citizens’ energy bills are significantly reduced and our region is poised to launch a manufacturing renaissance. The Times-Tribune readers deserved to hear these facts.