Target: Environmental Protection Agency
Goal: Curb methane emissions after study revealed alarmingly high levels in the atmosphere
A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argues that methane emissions are 1.5 to 1.7 times higher than Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates because of fossil fuel activities and livestock. Methane is another potent greenhouse gas similar to carbon dioxide in its role in climate change and global warming. Please urge the EPA to consider this new study, act accordingly, and curb human-related methane emissions.
Methane gas leaking into the atmosphere at fossil fuel production sites and livestock are likely the cause of the discrepancy in methane emission estimates. Previous EPA studies have predominately used methane emission estimates based on individual sources, such as cows and landfills, and then multiplied these figures by the estimated number of cows or landfills. Because methane emissions at fuel production sites are presumed to be low, the EPA’s methane emissions estimates don’t fully include methane leaked at these sites. The new estimates are based on 13,000 measurements taken directly from the atmosphere using planes and telecommunication towers.
The results of the new study indicate that the actual level of methane is 1.5 times higher than the EPA estimates. Significantly, methane emissions in the atmosphere above oil and gas producing states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas were 2.7 times higher than previous estimates. The correlation between methane emissions and fossil fuel production is all but confirmed by the high levels of other dangerous by-product gases of fossil fuel production. Thus, the study concludes that the EPA’s estimate for methane emission by fossil fuel production sites is this region are nearly five times too low.
In light of the alarming and well-reasoned conclusions in this recent survey, decisive action is needed. By signing the petition below you are urging the EPA to limit methane emissions caused by fossil fuel production.
Dear Environmental Protection Agency,
As you may well know, a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argues that methane emissions are 1.5 to 1.7 higher than EPA estimates. This discrepancy, suggests the study, is likely due to fossil fuel activities and livestock.
Methane emissions in the atmosphere above oil and gas producing states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas were 2.7 times higher than previous estimates. The correlation between methane emissions and fossil fuel production is all but confirmed by the high levels of propane. Thus, the study suggests that fossil fuel production estimates of methane emissions were nearly five times too low.
It is imperative the EPA consider the likelihood that previous estimates regarding leaking methane at fossil fuel production sites were grossly underestimated. As leaking methane is just the latest in a laundry list of furtive and conspicuous harms being done to the environment and population by oil and gas companies, I urge you to take decisive action to limit methane emissions caused by fossil fuel production.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ian Sanderson via Flickr