Report says US government has underestimated methane emissions from oil and gas operations

FILE - A flare burns at a well pad Aug. 26, 2021, near Watford City, N.D. American oil and natural gas wells, pipelines and compressors are spewing three times the amount of the potent heat-trapping gas methane as the government thinks, a new comprehensive study calculates. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)


A new report contends oil and gas wells, pipelines and compressors across the U.S. are emitting three times the amount of methane into the atmosphere as the government claims.

The lead author of a study in journal Nature says it’s cost more than $9 billion a year in climate damage. The author also suggests more than half of the methane emissions are from a small number of oil and gas sites and it means the methane problem is far worse than thought by the government.

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