Climate Impacts of Methane-Emitting Energy Technologies

Faculty Lead: Jessica Trancik

The White House’s plans to reduce methane emissions are a significant step toward addressing the climate impacts of oil and natural gas production. However, analysis by the Trancik Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shows that even if the proposed methane reduction goals are met, the United States may still fall short from meeting its overall 2030 climate goals. This is due to an increased reliance on natural gas resulting from the implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a leaky supply chain, and the fact that methane has a relatively large short-term impact on the climate that is not accounted for in current regulatory analysis. The Trancik Lab has developed a new tool that can calculate the methane reductions needed for the United States to reach its 2030 climate goals. 

The Trancik lab also submitted a public comment on EPA's Clean Power Plan.

IPL Support: The IPL provided assistance drafting memos, editing public comment, disseminating information, and arranging meetings with policy makers.