Chairwoman Johnson Launches Inquiry on Oil and Gas Sector Methane Leaks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 3, 2021

(Washington, DC) — Yesterday, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) sent letters to ten oil and gas companies operating in the Permian Basin, to understand whether each company’s existing Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programs possess the capability to achieve wide-ranging, quantifiable emission reductions in oil and gas infrastructure methane leaks. The Committee is assessing whether additional policies and research may be required to support a stronger Federal role in monitoring, quantifying, and evaluating methane leak emissions. The Committee will be requesting that the companies disclose internal data regarding different aspects of their Permian Basin leak emissions and their efforts to quantify and mitigate those emissions.

“The United States cannot achieve its targeted reduction in methane emissions under the Global Methane Pledge without a swift and large-scale decline in oil and gas sector methane leaks,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) in the letters. “The existence of these leaks, as well as continued uncertainty regarding their size, duration, and frequency, threatens America’s ability to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. I am concerned that oil and gas sector Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programs may not be designed and equipped to comprehensively monitor and detect methane leaks, particularly the intermittent, “super-emitting” leaks that are responsible for much of the sector’s leak emissions. As a result, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is investigating whether existing LDAR programs possess the capabilities to achieve wide-ranging, quantifiable emission reductions from oil and gas sector methane leaks, and whether additional policies and research may be required to support a stronger Federal role in monitoring, quantifying, and evaluating methane leak emissions. To inform its inquiry, the Committee seeks information on the scientific, technological, and analytical frameworks that underlie private sector LDAR efforts.”

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Full copies of the letters can be found here.

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology