The Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), which last year called for carbon pricing to be enacted, has now adopted principles that commit members to reducing methane emissions.  

US methane emissions by source

Among other things, creating “an effective market mechanism could incentivize broader participation from all sectors” to reduce emissions, the national group said. NGSA members are some of the world’s largest gas producers and marketers, including BP plc, Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell plc and Total SE.

“We believe that reducing methane emissions is an essential component of a cleaner environment,” CEO Dena Wiggins said. “We’re committed to a clean energy future and believe that addressing methane emissions is necessary to making that vision a reality.

“We are attacking methane emissions with the same spirit of ingenuity that positioned the United States as a world leader in developing and growing our natural gas resources.” 

Reducing methane emissions “is an essential component of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the NGSA said. Cutting carbon emissions would allow operators to “maintain a social license to operate.”

NGSA members committed to reducing emissions and “making significant investments in processes and technologies” to reduce flaring. They also set their sights on improving the quality of methane data to ensure transparency and pledged to “promote better understanding of the challenges” to manage emissions.

The members are supporting more voluntary efforts and “reasonable government policies” considered necessary to cut more emissions. 

“Ultimately, the creation of an effective market mechanism could incentivize broader participation from all sectors,” according to NGSA. “Methane policies and regulations must be scientifically sound, cost-effective and flexible to allow for efficient implementation, future technology deployment and continuous improvements.”

Last year NGSA was the first national gas trade group to advocate for pricing carbon. FERC recently began seeking input on potential carbon pricing mechanisms for wholesale electricity markets under its jurisdiction, a policy path that has the support of natural gas industry players that envision a fruitful partnership with renewables in mitigating climate change.

The NGSA has urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to respond favorably to any carbon pricing mechanisms advanced by regional trade organizations or independent system operators.