Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 26, 2010
While members of Congress have been considering proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), the oil and natural gas industry has been investing in technologies that have reduced GHGs from its facilities and processes.
A new study, commissioned by API, found that GHG emissions from the U.S. oil and natural gas industry declined more than 48 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2007 to 2008, a reduction comparable to taking 9.7 million cars off the roads.
The study, "Emission Reductions Associated with U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Investments in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Technologies"--conducted by T2 and Associates--shows that among the factors contributing to the reduction is the industry's investment of more than $58 billion in carbon mitigation technologies from 2000 to 2008.
The study found that emission reductions fell into three major categories:
- Fuel substitution (46 percent of the total reduction; largely reflects enhanced management of methane in the natural gas supply and distribution network)
- Non-hydrocarbon fuels (19 percent of the total reduction from investments in wind and solar)
- End-use efficiency improvements (35 percent of the total reduction from investments in combined heat and power)
Other factors that likely contributed to the emissions decline included lower petroleum product demand due to higher prices and a slowing economy.
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