LTE: Methane Has More Than 80 Times the Warming Power of Carbon Dioxide

Re: February 5, 2023 article, “How can we best measure Methane?”

Methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide for twenty years after its release. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, the EPA is preparing to charge a fee, the first ever to reduce global warming, on the amount of methane released.  How to measure the amount is a major dilemma.

Oil and gas companies have equipment to measure methane but they are not deploying them fully. Currently, they can pollute our environment without any consequences. They even burn excess hydrocarbons or use “flaring” which is allowed only for safety.  This practice is widely prevalent in the Permian Basin which TCEQ could stop by enforcement of the current permitting rules.

If these companies don’t want to pay fees, they could follow the permitting rules and seal methane leaks and start a transition plan to clean energy methods to become a part of the solution to stabilize our climate.

Kalpana Sutaria

Project Manager, City of Austin and Member, Citizens Climate Lobby Austin Chapter

Submitted to the Austin American Statesman and to the Times-Picayune in Louisiana

February 2023

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