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1Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities
Oil and Gas Metha...
2 Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities
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Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities
Table of CONTENTS
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Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities1
ethane gas pollut...
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report makes the...
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in conjunction wi...
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and storage comp...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities5
W A S T E N O T —...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities 6
River were kille...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities7
Grand Teton Natio...
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access to essent...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities9
to the federal Bu...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities
Fortunately, EPA c...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities
equivalent of cutt...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities
Other processes wh...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities13
of methane emiss...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities 14
Domestic Emissi...
Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities15
In summary, we r...
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1 Climate Centr...
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26 Urban, M.C. 2...
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56 Bureau of La...
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87 Ohio Environm...
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Pronghorn. Photo...
24 Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities
National Wildli...
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Oil and Gas Methane Pollution Report

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Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities

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Oil and Gas Methane Pollution Report

  1. 1. 1Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities Oil and Gas Methane Pollution An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities NOVEMBER 2016
  2. 2. 2 Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities Oil and Gas Methane Pollution An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities Copyright © 2016 National Wildlife Federation Lead Authors: Shannon Heyck-Williams, Lauren Anderson, and Jim Murphy. We wish to thank the following contributors to this report: Dave Dittloff, David Ellenberger, Tara Losoff, Tracy Sabetta, Andy Schulteiss, Frank Szollosi, Garrit Voggesser, and Kate Zimmerman. Suggested citation: Heyck-Williams, S., L. Anderson, and J. Murphy. 2016. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities. National Wildlife Federation: Washington, DC. Cover image: Pronghorn. Photo: Flickr. National Wildlife Federation 1990 K Street NW Washington, DC 20006 www.nwf.org
  3. 3. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities Table of CONTENTS Executive Summary...................................................................... 1 Overview: Methane Pollution...................................................... 3 Origins in the Oil and Gas Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Threats to Wildlife and Outdoor RecreatioN............................. 6 Our National Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Glacier National Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Grand Teton National Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Cuyahoga Valley National Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Rocky Mountain National Park. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Compounding Concerns for Wildlife: Oil and Gas Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Economic Considerations ........................................................... 9 Wasted Gas and Lost Revenues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Reducing Pollution is Cost-Effective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Voluntary and Regulatory Efforts—Status and Limitations......10 Regulatory Efforts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 U.S. Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 State Efforts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 The Colorado Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Ohio: Challenges and Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Voluntary Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Conclusion and Policy Recommendations .................................. 15 Endnotes..................................................................................... 16
  4. 4. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities1 ethane gas pollution is a serious threat to wildlife. As a climate “super pollutant,” methane has over 80 times the climate- altering potential as carbon dioxide (CO2) in the near term (over the next two decades), and is the second leading cause of climate change behind CO2. Fortunately, steps can be taken to protect wildlife by dramatically reducing methane pollution from its leading source, the oil and gas industry. This report outlines the wildlife-related threats posed by uncontrolled methane pollution from oil and gas operations and details how we can significantly curtail this threat while capturing a valuable resource that is now being wasted. Wildlife are under siege from human-caused climate change, which is accelerating at an alarming rate. Changes to our climate are having profound impacts on critical wildlife habitat, causing habitat ranges to shift or be lost, increasing incidence of pests and invasive species, decreasing available food and water, and speeding the rate of species extinction. Indeed, climate change is partly to blame for a mass extinction event that some scientists say is now underway. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY M Cutthroat trout. Photo: Latham Jenkins.
  5. 5. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities 2 report makes the following recommendations, which should be implemented by this Administration and the next to curtail the methane threat to wildlife: • Propose, finalize, and implement strong Environmental Protection Agency rules limiting methane pollution from existing sources in the oil and gas industry. • Successfully implement recent federal rules limiting methane pollution from new and modified oil and gas sources. • Finalize a proposed rule by the Bureau of Land Management that would substantially curtail methane waste from both existing and new sources of gas and oil production on public and tribal lands. • Continue to support state efforts to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas operations, such as the strong standards in place in Colorado. • Continue to support voluntary efforts that produce results. Examples of current climate impacts to wildlife and associated outdoor recreation are already troubling: • Cold weather-dependent moose are declining dramatically in northern states as milder winters fail to kill parasitic ticks. • Trout streams in the West are becoming too warm in many months to support fishing, threatening key species like bull trout and cutthroat trout. For instance, bull trout in Montana are at risk of losing up to 92 percent of their suitable habitat. • Bat species could disappear from their maternal range (range used by female bats when raising their young) in the Cuyahoga National Park and other places in the Northeast if warming trends continue. • Warmer, dryer summers and warmer, shorter winters in our national parks are allowing mountain pine beetles to thrive and destroy vast swaths of publicly- owned forests. • A massive fish kill has recently broken out in the Yellowstone River in part because waters were too warm and shallow. Methane is the chief component of natural gas, and is also a by-product of some oil production. Methane accounts for more than one-tenth of the greenhouse gases released due to human activity, with the oil and gas sector comprising the largest industrial source of that pollution. Much of this pollution is pure waste. Throughout the oil and gas supply chains, an enormous amount of methane is often either intentionally vented or flared into the atmosphere or allowed to escape through leaky wells, pipes, pumps, and other equipment. This is not only polluting the atmosphere, it is wasting enough fuel to provide heat for 6.5 million homes. Methane pollution is a problem we can solve with cost-effective measures. The U.S. has adopted a goal to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 40-45 percent by 2025. This goal can be met. This Indiana bat. Photo: USFWS.
  6. 6. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities3 in conjunction with crude oil reservoirs (i.e., as associated natural gas). As a result, methane pollution can originate in the oil sector as a byproduct of oil extraction.5 For the purposes of this report, however, we will group the associated impacts of natural gas and oil industry emissions together, reflecting the close relationship between the two systems. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nearly eight million tons of methane pollution were emitted from the oil and gas sector overall in 2014.6 This number is about 30 percent higher than the agency’s previous estimates.7 Pollution levels may still be underestimated, due to the opportunities for emissions to occur at many different points throughout the oil and gas supply chains. Furthermore, EPA projects that absent additional regulation, methane emissions from the oil and gas industry will grow by 25 ethane is a super pollutant that has over 80 times the impact on climate change as carbon dioxide over the course of a 20- year period.1 Methane accounted for approximately 11 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 and was the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted after carbon dioxide. Oil (petroleum) and natural gas systems make up nearly one-third of U.S. methane emissions and together are the largest pollution source.2 Natural gas consists largely of methane.3 Intentional and accidental release of methane from natural gas represents a waste of a valuable energy resource and a risk to wildlife, human health, and natural resources from a range of impacts. Methane has the potential to be released to the atmosphere throughout the natural gas supply chain. Natural gas is also found OVERVIEW: METHANE POLLUTION M 82% Carbon Dioxide 10% Methane 5% Nitrous Oxide 3% Fluorinated Gases 33% Natural Gas and Petroleum Systems 22% Enteric Fermentation 20% Landfills 9% Coal Mining 8% Manure Management 6% Other U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, by Gas4 82% Carbon Dioxide 10% Methane 5% Nitrous Oxide 3% Fluorinated Gases 33% Natural Gas and Petroleum Systems 22% Enteric Fermentation 20% Landfills 9% Coal Mining 8% Manure Management 6% Other U.S. Methane Emissions, by Source8
  7. 7. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities 4 and storage comprise the second largest source and are responsible for 27 percent of methane emissions.18 Solutions aimed at these stages would yield especially significant benefits for overall industry efforts to curb methane pollution. While production and transmission contribute most to methane pollution from the oil and gas sector, other segments of the supply chain also emit methane and should adopt emissions reduction solutions. For example, in looking just at distribution, one report notes that “[f]inding and fixing leaks at large, above- ground distribution facilities could reduce emissions by at least 283,000 metric tons per year.”19 Methane emissions also can occur in localized “hot spots.” A 2014 study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) identified a 2,500-square mile cloud of pollution in New Mexico and the Four Corners region as the single largest concentration of methane emissions in the country.20 More recently, NASA revealed that this massive hot spot of methane gas is largely the result of leaks in oil and gas systems.21 In addition to methane, other harmful pollutants also are emitted by the oil and gas sector. These include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), air toxics such as benzene (a known carcinogen), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), hydrogen sulfide, and particulates, which can cause a range of health ailments (e.g., asthma and some cancers), air quality problems (e.g., smog and ground-level ozone), and other environmental impacts.22 Reducing methane emissions from oil and gas development also will help curb release of these pollutants, especially in areas where industrial infrastructure is more prevalent. percent in the next ten years as the industry expands in response to the increased use of new technologies that open access to additional oil and gas resources.9, 10, 11 Origins in the Oil and Gas Industry The majority—nearly fifty-four percent—of releases in the energy sector occurs in the natural gas portion of the industry, with nearly twenty-one percent from oil systems.12 The U.S. oil and natural gas supply chains are typically separated into three segments: upstream (exploration/extraction, supply, and production); midstream (pipelines, transportation, and storage); and downstream (distribution).13 Methane emissions can occur at all stages of development: from extraction and production through the distribution of a final product to end users, such as industry, businesses, and home owners. The figure14 on page 5 illustrates the supply chains, including where methane emissions can occur in each. Operators release natural gas directly into the atmosphere through venting (i.e., direct release) and/ or flaring (i.e., burning).15 Some natural gas can also be lost due to leaks from oil and gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines, and processing plants.16 Thus, methane is emitted into the atmosphere during the production, processing, storage, transmission, and distribution of natural gas. Because natural gas is often found alongside petroleum, the production, refinement, transportation, and storage of oil are sources of methane pollution as well.17 The production phase of oil and gas operations comprises the largest source of methane emissions, with 46 percent of the total. Natural gas transmission Oil and gas wells. Photo: Richard Masoner.
  8. 8. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities5 W A S T E N O T — R E P O R T S U M M A R Y 3 Emissions Come from All Segments of Natural Gas and Oil Development Total Emissions (2014 EPA GHG Inventory) = 7.7 Million Tons of Methane Oil Well Pad Emissions come from leaks, pneumatic devices, storage tanks, and from the flaring of associated gas. Oil to Market Natural Gas Well Pad Emissions come from leaks, unloading liquids from wells, pneumatic devices, compressors, storage tanks, and dehydrators. Gathering Compressor Used to increase the pressure of the gas in the gathering pipelines. Emissions can come from leaks, pneumatic devices,and compressors. Gas Processing Plant Large plants used to clean and pressurize gas. Emissions mainly come from compressor venting and leaks. Transmission Compressor Compressor stations for maintaining gas pressure along interstate pipelines. Emissions can come from from leaks, pneumatic devices, and compressors. Storage Gas is often stockpiled in underground storage facilities or stored as a liquid. Emissions can come from compressor venting and leaks. City Gates Gas is measured and decompressed at the city gate before it is put into final sales lines. Emissions can come from leaks throughout the distribution system including above ground and below ground pipelines. Gas to Consumers Oil and natural gas production is responsible for 46% of methane emissions. Gas processing is responsible for 11% of methane emissions. Gas distribution is responsible for 16% of methane emissions. Gas transmission and storage is responsible for 27% of methane emissions. Commercial Residential Industrial November2014/©CleanAirTaskForce/NonprofitDesign.com Source: Clean Air Task Force.
  9. 9. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities 6 River were killed when temperature increases and reduced flow from declining snowmelt led to the proliferation of a deadly parasite. Nearly 200 miles of the river had to be closed to fishing and all other forms of water recreation as a result, derailing tourist fishing and boating plans at peak summer vacation time, with significant cost to many local businesses.29 Additionally, oil and gas infrastructure and exploration, production, and related activity can harm wildlife directly and fragment habitat and wildlife corridors, thereby hindering migration routes and limiting access to resources—reducing some species’ ability to adapt to a changing climate. Impacts of oil and gas development can also include wildlife mortality and displacement, and introduction of invasive species.30 ethane pollution is the second leading greenhouse gas, fueling climate change that poses one of the greatest threats to wildlife and outdoor recreation. Changes to our climate are having profound impacts on critical wildlife habitat, causing habitat ranges to shift or be lost, increasing incidence of pests and invasive species, decreasing available food and water, and accelerating the rate of species extinction.23, 24 Scientists have concluded that climate change and other factors are causing an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity, and some say that a mass extinction event is underway.25 While estimates vary, one in every six species on Earth could become extinct if climate change were to continue apace.26 Fortunately, averting dramatic loss is still possible through concerted action. Similarly, outdoor recreation is impacted by climate change as hunting and fishing opportunities decline, and as increased droughts, floods, wildfires, and other climate change-fueled events impair and restrict our ability to enjoy the outdoors and wildlife. Big game like moose, mule deer, elk, and pronghorn are also severely impacted by rising temperatures, drought, and an increase in the spread of diseases due to climate change. For example, the moose population in New Hampshire has declined by 40 percent in the last decade, largely due to a rapid rise in tick infestations caused by climbing temperatures that fail to kill parasite populations during winter.27 As our climate continues to change, these impacts will only become more pronounced, affecting wildlife, economic activity, and outdoor traditions. Even small temperature increases in lakes, rivers, and streams can have dramatic impacts on game fish, such as salmon and trout.28 In one recent troubling example in Montana, thousands of whitefish in the Yellowstone THREATS TO WILDLIFE AND OUTDOOR RECREATION M Baby pronghorn. Photo: Jacob W. Frank.
  10. 10. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities7 Grand Teton National Park In 2014, tourism in Wyoming created 31,510 jobs and generated a total of $3.33 billion.37 Grand Teton National Park is a $502-million annual economic engine at the heart of the state’s tourism industry. Like many parks in the northern part of the country, plant and animal species in Grand Teton depend on cold winters and higher elevations for survival. Small changes in temperature and precipitation can have great effect, especially with limited options for migration to higher altitudes. Climate change is expected to degrade or denude much of the forested ecosystems that support the park.38 According to a research ecologist who co- authored a report on climatic change in the park, “What you’re effectively talking about is massive loss of forest cover in a region that’s mostly forest-covered. The effects would cascade to virtually every species and every process.”39 Further, higher temperatures and corresponding changes in the amount of snow and timing of snowmelt will have far-reaching impacts throughout the Greater Yellowstone Network, which includes Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. According to long-term studies conducted in Greater Yellowstone, the wetland habitat that amphibian species depend on for breeding is severely impacted by changes in temperature and precipitation. Six native amphibian species occur in Greater Yellowstone: western tiger salamanders, boreal toads, boreal chorus frogs, northern leopard frogs, Columbia spotted frogs, and a spadefoot species. Lower snowpack reduces the amount of meltwater and wetland habitat, while rapid snowmelt inundates wetlands to the point where habitat is lost. Climate change has the potential to alter temperature and precipitation patterns, placing amphibian species in the park at risk.40, 41 Cuyahoga Valley National Park The 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio surrounds 22 miles of the Cuyahoga River. Located south of Cleveland, this park holds some of the largest forests in the state and is home to many wildlife species, including those that are threatened and When deterioration in habitat quality due to energy development and climate change negatively affects wildlife populations, hunters, anglers, and wildlife- watchers may generate less revenue as a result, affecting the tourism industry as a whole. In 2011, total expenditures on wildlife watching, hunting, and fishing in the U.S. amounted to $54.9 billion.31 Moreover, fees and taxes paid by hunters and anglers support non-game conservation programs run by state wildlife agencies, so a decline in outdoor recreation means a decrease in the funds to maintain treasured American lands.32 Our National Parks While climate impacts on wildlife in the United States are varied and widespread, they are especially noticeable on our most cherished public lands—the national parks. We illustrate here the ways in which climate change (which is significantly exacerbated by methane pollution) harms wildlife in national parks in four states—Montana, Wyoming, Ohio, and Colorado. These threats to wildlife and ecosystems put the parks’ economic value at risk as well. Glacier National Park More than 10 million tourists visit Montana each year, supporting 38,200 jobs and bringing in $3.9 billion to the economy. Montana ranks second in the nation for most visits due to wildlife viewing. In Glacier National Park, 2.2 million visitors in 2013 spent nearly $179 million in surrounding communities, supporting 2,824 jobs.33 This national park is one of the most visibly threatened by climate change, as iconic glaciers are melting rapidly.34 According to the National Park Service, Glacier National Park contained more than 150 glaciers in 1910 but now features only 26, and may lose all glaciers by as early as 2020.35 As a result of this rapidly changing environment, many species are in jeopardy. For example, bull trout—a popular game fish—are severely threatened by climate change in Montana. According to researchers with the U.S. Forest Service, the species could lose 18-92 percent of its suitable habitat in Montana’s portion of the Columbia River basin due to warming waters, with some populations facing higher risks than others.36
  11. 11. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities 8 access to essential moisture for alpine plants and animals. In addition, warmer temperatures are allowing more mountain pine beetles to survive the winter and damage the park’s forests.47 Very specialized species like the American pika, which live only on high, rocky mountains, are particularly sensitive to small changes in their environments. When temperatures exceed approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit, American pikas can die within hours if they cannot escape the heat.48 While the precise extent of climate-related impacts in these and other areas is unclear, the significant economic engines of tourism and outdoor recreation would be diminished in a warmer world brought about in part by methane pollution. Steps taken to limit the pollution that causes these changes will not only benefit wildlife, but will also preserve the value of important ecosystems for human enjoyment and economic well-being. endangered. On average, the park has about 2.5 million visitors annually,42 and contributes $203 million to Ohio’s economy.43 One of the most endangered species in the park, the Indiana bat, is expected to lose most if not all of its summer range—a range female bats use to rear their young—which includes the state of Ohio. Bats in northeastern states may be more sensitive than other mammal species to the impacts of climate change due to their reproductive cycles, hibernation patterns, and migration timing. Bat populations in the region have already suffered a dramatic decline due to white- nosed syndrome, a fungal disease. Populations were down 72 percent in 2011, and this loss is expected to be compounded by the effects of climate change.44 Bats are an important component of ecosystems as they eat large quantities of insects, including crop pests than can damage agricultural revenue.45 Rocky Mountain National Park In 2014, more than 3.4 million visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado spent $217 million and supported 3,382 jobs, which had a cumulative benefit to the state’s economy of $329 million.46 Spring snow now melts 2-3 weeks earlier on average each year, leading to less water in summer and reduced Compounding Concerns for Wildlife: Oil and Gas Infrastructure Oil and gas development generally involve constructing well pads, access roads, pipelines, and other related facilities and the removal of vegetation and topsoil.49 This can cause a loss of habitat in densely developed areas.50 Wildlife also can be harmed through spills, chronic leaks, and crude oil releases if equipment is operated improperly. These types of impacts can affect ecosystems and can lead to species’ population declines.51 In addition, wildlife can be threatened by habitat fragmentation, which can result in concentration of wildlife in smaller areas that lack migration corridors. This can lead to competition for food, territory, and other resources. The fragmentation caused by road construction produces some of the most deleterious impacts on wildlife and ecosystems.52 These challenges exacerbate stresses on species already struggling in a rapidly-changing climate. For example, in the American West, certain iconic species are in perilous decline, as migratory animals lose ground to energy development. In Southeast Montana, Northeast Wyoming, and along the Colorado-Wyoming border, mule deer and pronghorn are quite vulnerable to energy development and have seen population losses in terms of both size and productivity over the last three decades.53 In certain areas of Montana, industrial activity and its impacts also threaten grizzly bear populations. An interagency study found that grizzly bears are five times more likely to die in an area with roads or trails.54 Mule deer. Photo: USFWS.
  12. 12. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities9 to the federal Bureau of Land Management. 56 Such revenues could have gone to states, tribes, and federal taxpayers to support construction and repair of bridges and roads, education, or other local projects. 57 Nationally, one study estimated that the market value of leaked gas in the supply chain is around $1 billion. 58 As stated by the Center for Methane Emissions Solutions, “[when] a percentage of your production is going up into the air, you can’t sell it.” 59 Reducing Pollution is Cost-Effective Fortunately, research shows that methane emissions can be limited significantly and in a cost-effective manner. For example, one analysis finds that the oil and gas sector can reduce methane pollution 40 percent below projected 2018 levels using proven technologies at a cost of less than one cent per thousand cubic feet of produced natural gas. 60 Some of these costs can be recouped through the sale of captured natural gas. When accounting for the full recoverable value of natural gas, savings to the U.S. economy and consumers could total over $100 million per year. 61 The CEO for Southwestern Energy Company has stated, “… there clearly are ways to reduce methane emissions at low cost and sometimes even positive financial payback to companies. At Southwestern Energy, for example, we have already demonstrated that capturing emissions through reduced emission completions can be accomplished for the same cost as venting the gas into the atmosphere.” 62 Wasted Gas and Lost Revenues hen methane leaks or is released intentionally, it is a waste of a valuable energy resource. The amount of methane emitted each year nationally represents enough natural gas to heat 6.5 million homes. 55 Capturing wasted methane would allow this fuel to be sold and used for home heating, power generation, or manufacturing. Further, when extracted on federal or tribal lands, increased revenue from royalties paid on recovered methane would return financial resources to local communities and their infrastructure. Between 2009 and 2014, oil and gas producers on public and Indian lands wasted approximately 375 billion cubic feet of natural gas. This wasted resource amounted to $23 million in lost royalty revenues and could have powered 5.1 million households for an entire year, according ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS W American pika. Photo: Yathin.
  13. 13. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities Fortunately, EPA can reduce the oil and gas sector’s emissions dramatically through commonsense requirements for existing facilities. Regular leak detection and repair can cut up to 1.8 million metric tons of methane pollution per year. Replacing older equipment can cut another 1.3 million metric tons. And, capturing natural gas could reduce up to 500,000 metric tons annually. According to one analysis, “The[se] abatement potentials ... are conservative estimates based on government inventories. They don’t account for the research indicating that actual emissions could be twice the inventory estimates, or higher.66 he President’s Climate Action Plan: Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions sets a goal of reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025. 63 The strategy includes a combination of regulatory and voluntary approaches, aiming to expand participation in existing industry-led programs and to complement them with new requirements. While some progress has been made through voluntary programs, it is clear that they are far from sufficient to address the problem. Strong standards mandating pollution reductions are needed both at the federal and state levels. According to one report, “[d]espite the overall growth [in emissions], nearly 90% of the emissions in 2018 come from existing sources ([i.e.,] sources existing in 2011) . . . .” 64 Another analysis estimates that without existing source standards, 75 percent of methane emissions from today’s oil and gas infrastructure will remain unregulated at the federal level after Environmental Protection Agency’s methane standards for new and modified sources go into effect. 65 10 Voluntary and Regulatory Efforts— Status and Limitations T Without existing source standards, 75 percent of methane from today’s oil and gas infrastructure will remain unregulated at the federal level. Oil and gas fields. Photo: Jan Bucholtz.
  14. 14. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities equivalent of cutting 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or taking 2.4 million passenger cars off the road. In addition, it will reduce 210,000 tons of VOCs and 3,900 tons of air toxics in 2025. 69 The Environmental Protection Agency’s cost-effective approach will cut this pollution using readily available technologies. In February 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a proposed rule to “update its regulations to reduce the waste of natural gas from flaring, venting, and leaks from oil and gas production operations on public and Indian lands.” 70 According to the BLM, the proposed rule would produce net benefits of about $188 million annually. 71 It would encourage the use of currently- available technologies to minimize flaring at oil wells; and, it would require owners/operators to replace outdated equipment that vents large amounts of gas. 72 When finalized, the BLM rule and EPA’s methane regulations will serve as key parts of a comprehensive federal methane strategy. Regulatory Efforts U.S. Strategy In 2012, EPA issued regulations (called New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)) to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from new and modified oil and gas sources. 67 EPA then issued a rule in May 2016 amending the 2012 rule to add methane pollution limits for these sources, as well as regular methane leak inspection and repair requirements. This rule also expanded the scope of the 2012 requirements by requiring VOC emissions reductions from additional oil and gas activities and equipment not previously covered. 68 The 2016 regulation will have net positive economic benefits for natural gas producers by reducing leaks, thereby saving a significant amount of gas that could then be sold. Further, EPA’s estimates indicate that this recent rule will result in net climate benefits of $170 million in 2025 and that it will reduce more than 462,000 metric tons of methane in 2025—the 11 Photo: Blake Thornberry.
  15. 15. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities Other processes when methane is lost, such as liquids unloading (when the liquids built up in gas wells are purged), also need to be better addressed. Montana allows some venting for liquids unloading (with certain time and volume limits), 77, 78 and Wyoming 79 and Colorado 80 do not regulate this loss. While venting and flaring regulations help reduce waste, there is more that needs to be done. None of the above states address the waste that accrues from maintenance activities on oil and gas infrastructure. In addition, out of the Interior West states, North Dakota is the only state that requires drillers to submit plans demonstrating exactly how they plan to transfer and use the methane they will produce. 81 Further, accurate monitoring and record-keeping are crucial components of successful methane emissions reduction from the oil and gas sector. Ohio does not require methane wasted from smaller operations to be recorded, which leads to an underestimate in the total amount of methane emissions. 82 State Efforts In the past several years, a number of states have adopted oil and gas-related regulations, even as natural gas production has continued to grow. 73 However, they are inconsistent in scope and ambition. Some state methane regulations require oil wells to capture methane for sale and use. Yet, these efforts have limitations in states where regulations have been finalized. A Colorado rule exempts wells that are “not sufficiently proximate to sales lines” 74 and a Wyoming rule only “encourages” 75 the use of methane capture at the well. 76 12 The Colorado Model Colorado has been a national leader in facilitating more ecologically sustainable oil and gas development. It is the first state to address methane pollution by regulatory action. Its rule requires that oil and gas companies perform routine inspections for methane leaks and meet timelines for fixing them, and install emissions control devices on new wells and compressors, storage tanks, and other equipment. As a result of Colorado’s standard, leaking oil and gas sites have decreased by 75 percent in the state, even as oil and gas development has increased.83 Colorado’s rule has been supported by industry, which has seen the benefits of reduced waste. A recent study by the Center for Methane Emissions Solutions found that representatives from oil and gas companies overwhelmingly agree that the benefits of Colorado’s regulation outweigh the costs.84 However, despite Colorado’s success, and several other state initiatives to limit methane pollution, more stringent federal regulations are required both to acknowledge the transboundary nature of greenhouse gas pollution and its impacts, and to maximize savings across the industry. Northern leopard frog. Photo: Courtney Celley/USFWS.
  16. 16. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities13 of methane emissions have been eliminated through the use of 150 cost-effective technologies and practices, representing revenue savings equivalent to more than $206 million in natural gas sales. 91 The figure on page 14 illustrates some of the top emissions reduction opportunities for each stage in the oil and gas supply chain. In 2014, 81 percent of methane emissions reductions came from production, using methods such as installing vapor recovery units and converting to electric or solar pumps. Meanwhile, 16 percent of the emissions reductions came from transmission. 92 Some examples of transmission- related emissions reductions include installing electric compressors and using turbines at compressor stations. At the distribution level, inspection and maintenance States need to take additional steps to regulate methane emissions at existing facilities, including implementing regular leak detection inspection requirements and imposing strict venting and flaring restrictions. 89 Voluntary Programs The Natural Gas STAR Program is a voluntary, public- private program that has existed since 1993 to promote efficient technologies and other best practices to help reduce methane emissions from the natural gas sector. 90 Natural Gas STAR has more than 100 partners that operate in all aspects of the natural gas supply chain, including production, gathering and processing, transmission, and distribution. Since the Natural Gas STAR Program began, more than 1.3 trillion cubic feet Ohio: Challenges and Opportunities While Ohio joined Colorado and Wyoming in 2014 by requiring operators to fix emissions from leaking equipment identified during quarterly inspections,85 the state has suffered accidents and negative public health impacts from oil and natural gas sector development. Explosions tied to leaking pipelines have resulted in numerous fatalities across the country and in Ohio. In 2014, there were twelve oil and gas infrastructure accidents that left one person dead, two injured and 1,000 evacuated from homes and businesses. In fact, 500 residents were directed to leave their homes in the middle of the night in Crooksville, Ohio in February 2016. In addition to safety concerns, oil and gas facilities in Ohio wasted enough methane to fuel more than 8,500 homes in 2014 alone.86 In April 2016, the administration of Ohio Governor Kasich announced that the state will issue permits for new and modified equipment at compressor stations that pressurize gas.87 The new permits will require companies to use infrared cameras to check the facilities for leaks on a quarterly basis and quickly fix leaks they find. The EPA final rule aimed at reducing methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas sources provides companies with methods by which to align the final standards with state-specific requirements that may exist. In addition to protecting public health and the health of natural habitats, the state also stands to reap economic benefits from these strong federal rules that will level the playing field for Ohio in relation to neighboring states without adequate safeguards, thereby preventing Ohio oil and gas companies from being put at a competitive disadvantage. Already in Ohio, fifteen companies specialize in fixing pollution leaks, and as a result, are boosting Ohio communities with good-paying jobs. Regulating methane pollution will also significantly help Ohioans reduce their risk of asthma. Rates of asthma in Ohio currently are higher than the national average, with more than 275,000 children in the state suffering with asthma every day.88 Regulating methane emissions makes sense in Ohio on all levels.
  17. 17. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities 14 Domestic Emissions Reductions by Stage in the Oil and Gas Supply Chain 96 of surface facilities and rehabilitating leaky pipes have helped detect and reduce emissions, and together accounted for more than 70 percent of the reductions in this phase of operation in 2014. 93 Building on the Natural Gas STAR Program, EPA launched the voluntary Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program earlier in 2016 with 41 partner companies. 94 Through this program, EPA has challenged companies to develop and implement best management practices within five years. 95 Companies can reduce emissions at any point throughout their operations or supply chain (e.g., production, gathering and boosting, transmission, storage, and more). In the case of the Natural Gas STAR Program, the bulk of emissions reductions come from production, which is where most emissions occur in the supply chain. In contrast, Methane Challenge Program participants to-date are reducing methane emissions primarily from the distribution phase, though this segment comprises a relatively small portion of the emissions that occur across the oil and gas supply chain. Data are not yet available to measure the extent of this program’s effectiveness. Nevertheless, regulations still are needed to capture a greater percentage of emissions. EPA has noted that such voluntary efforts are, indeed, complementary to regulatory requirements.
  18. 18. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities15 In summary, we recommend the following policies to curb methane pollution from the oil and gas sector: • Propose, finalize, and implement strong EPA rules limiting methane pollution from existing sources in the oil and gas industry. • Successfully implement recent EPA rules limiting methane pollution from new and modified oil and gas sources. • Finalize a proposed rule by the Bureau of Land Management that would substantially curtail methane waste from both existing and new sources of gas and oil production on public and tribal lands. • Continue to advance state efforts to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas operations, such as the strong standard in place in Colorado. • Continue to support voluntary efforts that produce significant results. ildlife, their habitat, and local economies reliant on tourism and outdoor recreation have a vested interest in reducing climate-changing methane pollution. Current voluntary measures to reduce methane pollution remain insufficient, given the significant amount of oil and gas sector emissions left unaddressed. Furthermore, methane pollution is expected to increase without more action. In fact, without additional regulation, EPA projects that methane emissions from the oil and gas industry will increase by 25 percent in the next 10 years. 97 The National Wildlife Federation therefore underscores the urgent need for EPA to regulate existing sources in the oil and gas industry to effectively reduce methane emissions from this sector. NWF commends the EPA for finalizing standards to curb methane emissions from new and modified sources in the industry, and strongly recommends that the agency propose and finalize a rule as quickly as possible to regulate emissions from existing facilities—i.e., those sources responsible for the bulk of projected emissions. CONCLUSION AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS W Juvenile bull trout. Photo: USFWS.
  19. 19. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities 16 1 Climate Central 2014. Determining Methane Leaks is Key to Climate Goals. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/climate-goals-priority-is-methane-leaks-17854 2 U.S. EPA 2014. Overview of Greenhouse Gases: Methane Emissions. https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html. Emissions estimates are from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2014. 3 Ibid. 4 U.S. EPA 2014. Overview of Greenhouse Gases. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases. Emissions estimates are from: Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2014. 5 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2002. Natural Gas Production in the United States. https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-0113-01/fs-0113-01.pdf 6 Clean Air Task Force 2014. Waste Not: Common Sense ways to Reduce Methane Pollution from the Oil and Gas Industry. http://www.catf.us/resources/publications/files/WasteNot.pdf. 7 The Economist 2016. Methane leaks: A dirty little secret. http://www.economist.com/news/business/21702493-natural-gass- reputation-cleaner-fuel-coal-and-oil-risks-being-sullied-methane. 8 U.S. EPA 2014. Methane Emissions. 9 U.S. EPA 2015. Fact Sheet, EPA’s Strategy for Reducing Methane and Ozone-Forming Pollution from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry. http://www3.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/pdfs/20150114fs.pdf 10 Egan, M. 2016. Oil Milestone: Fracking fuels half of U.S. output. CNN Money. http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/24/investing/fracking-shale-oil-boom/ 11 Brown, S.P.A., and M.K. Yucel. 2013. The Shale Gas and Tight Oil Boom: U.S. States’ Economic Gains and Vulnerabilities. Council on Foreign Relations. http://www.cfr.org/united-states/shale-gas-tight-oil-boom-us-states-economic-gains-vulnerabilities/p31568 12 U.S. EPA 2014. Table 3-1, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2014, Ch. 3: Energy. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-04/documents/us-ghg-inventory-2016-chapter-3-energy.pdf. 13 API Energy 2013. Energy Infrastructure. http://www.energyinfrastructure.org/energy-101/jobs?gclid=CjwKEAjwiYG9BRCkgK-G4 5S323oSJABnykKAgdZt5DjZe8km3KmFNcT9xq7u7HXbpR7LpEAIUspNdhoCd9Tw_wcB. 14 Clean Air Task Force 2014. 15 U.S. Government Accountability Office 2016. Oil and Gas, Interior Could Do More to Account for and Manage Natural Gas Emissions, page 6. http://democrats-naturalresources.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Interior%20Could%20Do%20More%20to%20Account%20 for%20and%20Manage%20Natural%20Gas%20Emissions.pdf. 16 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2016. Natural Gas Explained, Natural Gas and the Environment. http://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/?page=natural_gas_environment. 17 U.S. EPA 2014. Methane Emissions. 18 The percentages provided in this figure are based on EPA’s 2014 Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which consists of data through 2012, and combine oil and gas data. Source: Clean Air Task Force 2014. 19 Clean Air Task Force 2014, p. 15. 20 NASA 2014. U.S. Methane ‘Hot Spot’ Bigger than Expected. http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/09oct_methanehotspot/ 21 Alvarez, R. 2016. What the New NASA ‘Hot Spot’ Study Tells Us About Methane Leaks. Environmental Defense Fund. http://blogs.edf.org/energyexchange/2016/08/15/what-the-new-nasa-hot-spot-study-tells-us-about-methane-leaks/ 22 Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development 2002. Oil and Gas Production Phase Impacts. http://teeic.indianaffairs.gov/er/oilgas/impact/prod/index.htm. 23 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013. Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/ 24 Ramirez, P., and S.B. Mosley 2015. Oil and Gas Wells and Pipelines on U.S. Wildlife Refuges: Challenges for Managers. USFWS. PLOS One 2015: 10(4). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4410920/ 25 Ceballos, G., et al. 2015. Accelerated modern human-induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction. Science Advances (1):5. http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253.full ENDNOTES
  20. 20. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities17 26 Urban, M.C. 2015. Accelerating extinction risk from climate change. Science (348):6234. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/348/6234/571.full 27 National Wildlife Federation (NWF) 2013. Nowhere to Run: Big Game Wildlife in a Warming World. http://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Global-Warming/Reports/NowheretoRun-BigGameWildlife- LowResFinal_110613.ashx. 28 Eby, L., et al. 2014. Evidence of Climate Induced Range Contractions in Bull Trout Salvelinus confluentus in a Rocky Mountain Watershed, U.S.A. PLOS One 9(6). http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2014_eby_l001.pdf. 29 Brown, M. 2016. More tests for Yellowstone, tributaries after fish kill. ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/tests-set-yellowstone-tributaries-fish-kill-41579828. See also: Robbins, J. 2016. Tiny Invader, Deadly to Fish, Shuts Down a River in Montana. New York Times 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/us/tiny-parasite-invader-deadly-to-fish-shuts-down-yellowstone-river-in-montana.html?_r=0 30 Ramirez and Mosley 2015. 31 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 2012. 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/fhw11-nat.pdf 32 NWF 2015. Losing Ground: Wildlife and Energy Development in the Powder River Basin. http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Media-Center/Reports/Archive/2015/11-17-2015-Losing-Ground.aspx 33 National Park Service (NPS) 2014. Glacier Creates 179 Million in Economic Benefit. https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/glacier-creates-179-million-in-economic-benefit.htm 34 Wines, M. 2014. Climate Change Threatens to Strip the Identity of Glacier National Park. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/us/climate-change-threatens-to-strip-the-identity-of-glacier-national-park.html?_r=0 35 NPS. Ice Patch Archeology and Paleoecology at Glacier National Park. https://www.nps.gov/articles/glacicepatch.htm 36 Reiman, B. F. 2007. Anticipated Climate Warming Effects on Bull Trout Habitats and Populations Across the Interior Columbia River Basin. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 136:1552–1565. http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/boise/publications/fisheries/rmrs_2007_riemanb001.pdf 37 NWF 2015. Losing Ground, page 11. 38 Thuermer, A. M. 2015. Report: Climate change likely to kill Yellowstone forests. WyoFile. http://www.wyofile.com/report-climate-change-likely-to-kill-yellowstone-forests/ 39 Ibid. 40 Ray, A., A. Sepulveda, B. Hossack, D. Patla, and K. Legg. 2014. Using monitoring data to map amphibian breeding hotspots and describe wetland vulnerability in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Park Science 31(1). http://nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/Archive/PDF/Article_PDFs/ParkScience31(1)SpecialIssue2014_112-117,119_Ray_et_al_3810.pdf 41 NPS Intermountain Region Inventory & Monitoring Program. August 2013. Greater Yellowstone Network Resource Brief: Amphibian and Wetland Monitoring. https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/DownloadFile/480685 42 NPS 2013. Cuyahoga Valley National Park Climate Action Plan. https://www.nps.gov/cuva/learn/management/upload/CVNP-Climate-Action-Plan.pdf 43 Bhatia, K. 2016. Cuyahoga Valley National Park Survey Shows $203 Million Economic Impact. WKSU. http://wksu.org/post/cuyahoga-valley-national-park-survey-shows-203-million-economic-impact#stream/0 44 USFWS 2013. Climate Change Projected to Alter Indiana Bat Maternity Range. http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/news/537 45 Indiana Department of Natural Resources. July 28, 2016. Indiana Bats. http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3371.htm 46 NPS 2015. Rocky Mountain National Park Will Increase Entrance and Camping Fees Beginning in October. https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/news/pr_park_entrance_and_camping_fees_beginning_october_1.htm 47 NPS. Rocky Mountain National Park: Climate Change. https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/nature/climatechange.htm 48 NPS. Rocky Mountain National Park: Pika. https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/nature/pikas.htm 49 Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development 2002. Oil and Gas Production Phase Impacts. http://teeic.indianaffairs.gov/er/oilgas/impact/prod/index.htm. 50 NWF 2015. Losing Ground, pages 8-9. 51 NWF 2015. Losing Ground, page 10. 52 Rowland M. M., M. J. Wisdom, B. K. Johnson, and M. A. Penninger. 2005. Effects of Roads on Elk: Implications for Management in Forested Ecosystems. http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/lagrande/starkey_na/PDFs_Preprints/ms-04_Rowland.pdf 53 NWF 2015. Losing Ground, page 12. 54 Geid, E. 2003. Oil, gas, and the grizzly. Earth island Journal. http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/oil_gas_and_the_grizzly/ 55 Clean Air Task Force 2014.
  21. 21. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities 18 56 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 2016. Fact Sheet on Methane and Waste Reduction Rule. http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/ blm/wo/Communications_Directorate/public_affairs/news_release_attachments.Par.74451.File.dat/VF_Fact_Sheet.pdf 57 Wheeler, A. 2016. The Future of Methane in Colorado. Conservation Colorado. http://conservationco.org/2016/07/future-methane-colorado/ 58 Hausman, C. and L. Muehlenbachs 2016. Price Regulation and Environmental Externalities, Evidence from Methane Leaks. Resources for the Future. http://www.rff.org/files/document/file/RFF-DP-16-23.pdf 59 Truchot, J. 2016. Jonah energy cuts costs by stopping methane leaks. Wyoming Business Report. http://wyomingbusinessreport.com/jonah-energy-cuts-costs-by-stopping-methane-leaks/ 60 Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) 2014. Cost-effective methane emissions reductions from U.S. oil and gas. https://www.edf.org/media/cost-effective-methane-emissions-reductions-us-oil-and-gas 61 EDF 2014. ICF Methane Cost Curve Report. https://www.edf.org/energy/icf-methane-cost-curve-report. 62 EDF 2014. Cost-effective methane emissions. 63 U.S. EPA 2016. EPA’s Actions to Reduce Methane Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry: Final Rules and Draft Information Collection Request. https://www3.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/may2016/nsps-overview-fs.pdf 64 ICF International 2014. Economic Analysis of Methane Emission Reduction Opportunities in the U.S. Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Industries, pages 3-4. https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/methane_cost_curve_report.pdf 65 Cassady, A. 2016. The Who’s Who of Methane Pollution in the Onshore Oil and Gas Production Sector. Center for American Progress. https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/20070044/MethanePollution-report.pdf. 66 Clean Air Task Force 2014, p. 3. 67 U.S. EPA 2016. EPA’s Actions to Reduce Methane Emissions. 68 Ibid. 69 Ibid. 70 BLM 2016. Fact Sheet on Methane and Waste Reduction Rule. 71 Alexander, R. 2016. BLM proposed royalty rule on wasted natural gas would benefit taxpayers. The Hill. http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/288160-blm-proposed-royalty-rule-on-wasted-natural-gas-would. 72 BLM 2016. Proposed Methane and Waste Prevention Rule. http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/oil_and_gas/methane_and_waste.html 73 Pirog, R. and M. Ratner 2012. Natural Gas in the U.S. Economy: Opportunities for Growth. Congressional Research Service, R42814. https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42814.pdf 74 Colorado Department of Natural Resources Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2 CCR 404-1: 805(b)(3)(A). https://www.sos.state.co.us/CCR/GenerateRulePdf.do?ruleVersionId=6658&fileName=2CCR404-1 75 Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Operational Rules Drilling Rules, Chapter 3, Section 39 (a). http://soswy.state.wy.us/Rules/RULES/10099.pdf 76 Western Environmental Law Center, Western Organization of Resource Councils 2016. 77 Montana Department of Oil and Gas, Conservation Rule 36.22.1219. http://www.mtrules.org/gateway/ShowRuleFile.asp?RID=12051 78 Montana Department of Oil and Gas, Conservation Rule 36.22.1221. http://www.mtrules.org/gateway/ShowRuleFile.asp?RID=1205 3 79 Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Chapter 3, Section 39 (b)(ii). http://soswy.state.wy.us/Rules/RULES/10099.pdf 80 Colorado Department of Natural Resources Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2 CCR 404-1: 912(b). https://www.sos.state.co.us/CCR/GenerateRulePdf.do?ruleVersionId=6658&fileName=2CCR404-1 81 Western Environmental Law Center, Western Organization of Resource Councils 2016. 82 EDF. Reducing Ohio’s Methane Pollution Problem. https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/content/methane_fact_sheet_ohio_final_for_1115.pdf 83 Wheeler, A. 2016. 84 Graham, E. 2016. Study: Energy industry supports methane rules in Colorado. The Durango Herald. http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20160415/NEWS01/160419787/ 85 Williams, A. 2016. Ohio Gov. Kasich Moves to Reduce Environmental Impact of Natural Gas Industry. EDF. https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/8JQZBds97b5FV?domain=blogs.edf.org 86 EDF. Ohio’s Methane Pollution Problem: Reducing oil and gas methane emissions benefits Ohio communities. https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/content/methane_fact_sheet_ohio_final_for_1115.pdf
  22. 22. Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities19 87 Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. April 7, 2016. Ohio EPA Requests Comments on Drafts of General Permits for Compressor Stations. https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/Md6XB0TKGAXCl?domain=epa.ohio.gov 88 American Lung Association. 2016. Report Card: Ohio. In State of the Air 2016. http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/city-rankings/states/ohio/ 89 EDF. Wyoming State Fact Sheet. https://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/content/methane_fact_sheet_wyomingfinal.pdf 90 For those who are familiar with the Energy STAR label that can be found on many computers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and other household and business products, the Natural Gas STAR program is modeled after the Energy STAR public-private program that also has existed since the 1990s. The Energy STAR label is awarded to products that meet a level of energy efficiency that far exceeds the minimum industry standards or thresholds to provide public recognition in this regard. It indicates a “best-in-class” product in terms of energy efficiency and was designed to encourage and incent companies to strive to achieve greater efficiency levels. Similarly, Natural Gas STAR was created to encourage gas companies to adopt efficient technologies as well as to reduce emissions voluntarily in a cost-effective manner, and to receive recognition for doing so through this Program. See: U.S. EPA 2013. Natural Gas STAR Program. https://www.epa.gov/natural-gas-star-program/natural-gas-star-program#introduction 91 Ibid. 92 Ibid. 93 Ibid. 94 U.S. EPA. Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program. https://www3.epa.gov/gasstar/methanechallenge/ 95 Ibid. 96 Ibid. 97 U.S. EPA 2015. Fact Sheet, EPA’S Strategy for Reducing Methane.
  23. 23. 23Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities Pronghorn. Photo: USFWS.
  24. 24. 24 Oil and Gas Methane Pollution: An Invisible Threat to Wildlife and Economic Opportunity for Communities National Wildlife Federation 1990 K Street NW Washington, DC 20006 www.nwf.org

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