How Bad Are Oil and Gas Methane Leaks?

For the last decade, researchers have become increasingly alarmed about methane emissions from fracking operations.

A recent Wall Street Journal analysis found yearly methane emissions are equivalent to putting 69 million cars on the road. Some estimates are higher. The United Nations says yearly methane leaks may amount to adding nearly 100 million cars.

It's not just scientists who are alarmed. As activist investors put more pressure on oil and gas drillers to deal with leaks, producers are now admitting there’s a problem. Meanwhile, they’re also touting “sustainably fracked” gas that comes from sources with fewer methane emissions.

But what will happen to industry efforts to clean up methane leaks now that the Trump administration is rolling back regulations? And how will financial turmoil in the industry hinder cleanup efforts? We are talking with Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Elliott, who’s been covering this leakage issue very closely. She’ll detail investor pressure, the impact of regulations, and why so many big drillers support slashing methane.

Read Rebecca's reporting on the subject:
  • WSJ: The Leaks That Threaten the Clean Image of Natural Gas
  • WSJ: Oil and Gas Bankruptcies Grow as Investors Lose Appetite for Shale
  • WSJ: ‘Sustainably Fracked’: Shale Producers Seek a Green Label for Their Natural Gas

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