Will Methane Regulations Kill Texas Jobs?

Eagle Ford Methane
Eagle Ford Methane

The Obama administration's newly proposed regulations on methane emissions will likely cost the oil and gas industry as much as $420 million and add additional pressure to stressed Eagle Ford producers.

Related: Federal Fracking Rule on Hold

In an effort to address the problem of climate change, the Obama administration proposed  measures that would cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Oil and gas companies would be required to cut methane pollution from drilling sites, distribution systems and in other areas of operation.

Oil and gas producers are already fatigued from months of low crude prices and new regulations may be more than most can handle. Critics charged the administration with wanting to sabotage the industry and the jobs it has created.

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter likened the ruling to war and said it is:

Another blatant attack on the oil and gas industry that will further impede America’s energy security, kill jobs and put even more stress on our national and state economies.

Methane is the key component of natural gas and has a high impact on global warming — up to 25 times that of carbon dioxide.

In April, Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tested the air over Texas by flying over oil and gas fields to gather data to measure air pollution in the Eagle Ford. The research was part of a larger national project to measure air pollution from America’s biggest shale fields by tracking excessive production of ozone and methane. Another study showed that methane emissions across the United States had dropped significantly in the past two decades and are much lower than current EPA estimates.