Air Emissions

Source: IEA, U.S. EPA, ExxonMobil and WRI. All leakage rates, except ExxonMobil’s are based on estimates and empirical; Exxon’s leakage rates include actual measured data from some production and gathering operations in the Marcellus; EPA estimates are computed based on gross production reported from the

Thanks to increased use of natural gas, U.S. energy
related emissions of CO2 from power generation are at
their lowest point in nearly 30 years.13
The environmental
benefits associated with natural gas go well beyond
CO2 reductions. Greater use of natural gas in power
generation will also reduce NOx, SO2, PM, acid gasses,
Hg and non-Hg heavy metal emissions.

Behind this is an industry investment of more than $321
billion that has improved the environmental performance
of its products, facilities and operations between 1990
and 2015 – roughly $996 for every man, woman and
child in the United States.14

One area where industry continues to build on this
success is through the development and implementation
of new technologies to reduce methane released during
production. For example, all new natural gas wells are
required to include green completions measures to
reduce emissions. Additional new requirements also will
impact tanks, pneumatic devices, leak detection and
leak control. EPA’s current inventory estimates show the
methane leakage rate for natural gas systems was 1.25
percent in 2015.15

Industry measures are working. The EPA recently reports
that methane emissions from hydraulically fractured
natural gas wells have fallen nearly 65% between 2012
and 2015.16