Austin, Texas – Below is a statement from TIPRO President Ed Longanecker on the latest oil and gas report just released by environmental organization Earthworks entitled “Gasping for Breath”:
The latest installment from Earthworks once again ignores scientific data showing that oil and natural gas development is not a major contributor of ozone levels in Texas. Ozone levels have actually been trending downward for decades even as oil and natural gas production has increased. This organization unfortunately has a documented history of misrepresenting emissions data to advance their cause, which is to slow or stop the development of hydrocarbons in our country.
The state of Texas has the nation’s most comprehensive air monitoring systems in place and the oil and natural gas industry is one of the most heavily regulated sectors in the country. Operators are required to comply with a vast framework of state, local and federal regulations covering all aspects of exploration and production activities, including air quality and emissions.
Properly conducted research, which has analyzed millions of air samples in Texas, has found that oil and gas activity does not pose public health concerns. This includes a recent study showing that shale gas activities have not resulted in VOC levels that pose a health risk.
Additional studies using faulty modeling and scare tactics have made similar accusations, but were later decommissioned, thoroughly debunked and were clearly tied to anti-oil and gas activist groups and related research.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) own data shows methane emissions from hydraulically fractured gas wells have fallen 79 percent since 2005. Even the activists’ so-called gold standard — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — has stated the rapid deployment of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies is a key reason for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Further, between 2005 and 2015, 68 percent of carbon dioxide emissions reductions in the U.S. electric power sector came from fuel shifting toward natural gas. Recently the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected U.S. CO2 emissions will be at their lowest level since 1992, even after a 9 percent decline in these emissions between 2005-2014.
To say stronger, yet cost effective and reasonable, regulation is needed is an oxymoron and impossibility with these activist groups and the EPA. Over the past several years, America’s oil and natural gas industry has continued to be inundated with new overbearing regulations developed by the federal government. Collectively, our industry currently faces more than 40 onerous and unnecessary federal regulations, including the EPA’s carbon emissions regulations that could total nearly $300 billion in compliance costs from 2022 – 2033. Research has shown that since 2009, under the Obama Administration, the EPA alone has published over 3,900 final rules in the Federal Register, amounting to nearly 33,000 pages in length. This includes promulgation of more than 100 rules specifically relating to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which will have economic impacts measured in the billions of dollars.
These anti-oil and natural gas policies being advanced by politically biased agencies and environmental activist organizations offer little, if any, true environmental benefits, but could very well threaten our national economy and the success of our nation’s energy industry.