Clean Infrastructure

Methane Mitigation

10 Years of BlueGreen

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Methane—the primary component of natural gas—is a greenhouse gas that is many times more potent than carbon dioxide and the second largest contributor to climate change. Reducing methane emissions can reap economic benefits for workers and communities across the country.

The Challenge

Methane is the primary component of natural gas, and releases of uncombusted methane from leaks from oil and gas production, processing, and transport are damaging our climate, wasting resources, and endangering workers and communities.

The U.S. oil and gas industry is the largest source of methane emissions. Lost and leaking natural gas costs billions of dollars every year—nationwide, these activities waste the amount of gas it takes to heat nearly 7 million homes.

The nation’s energy sector leaks dangerous and wasteful industrial pollution—methane, benzene and other dangerous pollutants—into our air from oil and natural gas wells, pipelines, tanks and other equipment. While these can be accidental releases, often they are due to outmoded practices and obsolete technology.

The Opportunity

Reducing system-wide methane emissions in the energy sector will create quality jobs while reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

An upcoming BlueGreen Alliance report will estimate the direct and indirect jobs that could be created every year in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing. It will also examine how full and continuing adoption of leak reducing technologies and practices could create tens of thousands of jobs over the first decade of full implementation of federal methane standards, which were established in 2016.

What’s more is that leak mitigation jobs are better paying jobs—the median hourly wage for workers in the methane mitigation industry is $30.88, compared to $19.60 for all U.S. jobs.

Proven, off-the-shelf technologies can reduce methane emissions at a low cost. Reducing emissions by 40 percent below projected 2018 levels would cost less than one penny a year per thousand cubic feet of produced natural gas.

Reducing these emissions have the added benefit of protecting workers. When methane leaks, workers in the industry are also exposed to cancer-causing compounds like benzene.

Key Facts

Tens of thousands Quality jobs that could be created with full and continuing adoption of leak reducing technologies and practices over the next decade. An upcoming report will quantify the jobs that will be gained by this.

$30.88 Median hourly wage for workers in the methane mitigation industry, compared to $19.60 for all U.S. jobs. (Source)

<$.01 Proven, off-the-shelf technologies can reduce methane emissions in our oil and gas sector at a low cost. Reducing emissions by 40 percent below projected 2018 levels would have an average annual cost of less than one penny per thousand cubic feet of produced natural gas. (Source)


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