As federal regulators and large upstream oil and gas companies grapple with the problem of getting their emissions of methane under control, at the other end of the pipeline, where local distribution companies (LDCs) deliver natural gas to residential and commercial customers, a quiet revolution is taking place with the adoption of new technologies to get control of emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas.
One positive from the LDCs’ perspective is that, as measured by the Environmental Protection Agency, methane emissions from the nation’s natural gas systems — including transmission, distribution and storage systems — have decreased by almost one-quarter over the past three decades.
“Natural gas systems were the second largest anthropogenic source category of CH4 (methane) emissions in the United States in 2018 with 140.0 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT COշe.) of CH4 emitted into the atmosphere. Those emissions have decreased by 43.4 MMT COշe (23.7%)