Wall Street Journal Ignores the Relevant Facts on Methane Leaks

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

The Wall Street Journal just delivered what could be considered a hit piece on natural gas for methane leaks. It ignored both basic facts and progress made.

I stopped reading the Wall Street Journal long ago. It is, of course, a purely establishment news outlet. What most people don’t realize, though, is that its news pages are also reliably progressive (and I don’t mean that as a compliment) it their outlook. The editorial pages are thought to be conservative but any reader cannot but notice, over time, they’re only conservative with respect to extolling the positions of the up and coming gentry class.

And, the up and coming gentry class hates natural gas because they hope to get really, really rich on green eggs and scam. That’s how we get hit pieces such as the one the Wall Street Journal just ran saying methane leaks “Threaten the Clean Image of Natural Gas.”

The natural gas industry has made enormous progress in reducing methane emissions, despite equally enormous hype to the contrary. The Wall Street Journal, though, apparently wants us to fear the impacts of natural gas on global warming. I say that because Rebecca Elliot, author of the article, was on an API press call last week regarding The Environmental Partnership’s Annual Report, which addresses the questions in the article. She also received information on a recent NOAA study finding there has been “major overestimation” of industry’s methane leaks, but chose not to include this information her article.

Here are just a few of the relevant facts from API:

  • Methane is the primary constituent of natural gas, so minimizing its release is a top industry priority from both an environmental and business standpoint. From 1990 to 2017, the U.S. natural gas and oil industry invested an estimated $356 billion toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations — $1,088 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
  • From 1990-2017, methane emissions from natural gas systems dropped 14% during a period when production has increased more than 50%. This is, effectively, a 43% reduction in the rate of emissions.
  • Recent data – including the EPA’s own air quality trends report – confirms that U.S. air quality has improved dramatically, and that industry’s efforts are working. In fact, industry’s results are nothing short of remarkable.
  • The increased use of natural gas to fuel the power sector has played the most significant role in achieving generational lows in carbon dioxide emissions from power generation that we see today.
  • Methane emissions from ALL sources account for 10% of GHG emissions and only 3% of those emissions are from natural gas and petroleum systems, according to the EPA.

And, here is a nice chart to accompany that last point:

Wall Street Journal

There will be a lot more coming out soon about this issue and how the Wall Street Journal is simply wrong on so much, but, in the meantime know this was a hit piece and nothing less.

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One thought on “Wall Street Journal Ignores the Relevant Facts on Methane Leaks

  1. Have been a Wall Street Journal reader for 40 years. They do make very public that only their editorial page is conservative. You are right that the news section is definitely big business oriented and favors the progressive gentry. Their stand on the “dangers” of tariffs definitely clashes with Pres. Trump’s policy which I think is long range while WSJ is looking too short range.

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