Here’s a true story you might not often hear: Smart regulations are creating conditions favoring small businesses, a cornerstone of America’s economy – while also bringing better-than-average-paying jobs.
For proof, one needs to look no further than to the rapidly growing methane mitigation industry. It’s going strong, ready to ramp up work with proven solutions in the wake of the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently-announced methane rules.
“Nearly 60 percent of the companies in our burgeoning methane mitigation industry are small businesses, the growth engine of the American economy,” my colleagues Ben Ratner and Sean Wright write on our Energy Exchange blog. “The median wage of over $30/hour is more than 50 percent greater than the nation’s average.”
That’s high-paying work for addressing a high-impact greenhouse gas. Methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the short term. So addressing leaks in the oil and gas supply chain is necessary to turn the corner on climate change.
That mitigating these leaks creates economic opportunity in addition to climate benefits is among the many reasons support for EPA’s regulations is strong.
Environmental Defense Fund earlier this year commissioned a report to analyze the methane mitigation landscape and the findings, which Ben and Sean reference above, are staggering. The report highlights a robust and diverse industry, with more than 75 companies present at more than 500 locations across 46 states.
Consider the experience of Rebellion Photonics, Wall Street Journal’s 2013 “Startup of the Year.”
Reducing the oil and gas industry’s methane emissions is an “urgent energy-waste and climate issue,” noted Rebellion’s Chief Executive Officer Allison Lami Sawyer when the new rules were released. Her company has developed camera technology that helps companies quickly find and repair leaks.
Business and job growth via methane mitigation is just one of the many positive outcomes of methane regulations. The new rules also help gas development achieve maximum environmental and economic benefits.
It helps explain why investors representing an impressive $1.5 trillion are already on board.
Short term as referred to above is 20 years. I’m not aware of legislation for the EPA to increase its GWP reference. Thanks for your comment and questions, Sharay!
In reply to Good article. I was able to by Sharay Dixon
Your welcome. Thanks for your response and sorry for the grammatical typos.
In reply to Short term as referred to by Dan Upham
Good article. I was able to follow along. I am a MS graduate of Environmental Management out of the University of Maryland so I am always interested in environmental issues. I am curious about the statement "84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the short term." 1). Please define short term. The latest IPCC, AR5, working group has presented methane to be 84 times more potent that CO2 over the 20 year period vs 34 times over the 100 year periods. Additionally the EPA has used 21 and currently 25 GWP for methane. Have you heard of any legislation for the EPA to increase its GWP reference for GHG reporting to 34. I am assuming it will. I work in the O&G industry and am attempting to estimated our GHG emissions over the next 5 years. I will do a model that used 25 and 34 for the GWP for methane. Thanks and keep up the good work.
Sharay DixonSeptember 18, 2015 at 9:10 am