Climate Impacts of Methane-Emitting Energy Technologies

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. (read more...)

Faculty Lead: Jessica Trancik

IPL Support:

  • Translating research into one page memos for policy makers.
  • Desseminating memo to various policy staff.
  • Tracking and understanding the ongoing debate over methane regulation.
  • Providing short summaries of the status of methane regulation throughout government.
  • Designing action plan with various options for impacting policy.

Research Dissemination:

Faculty Feedback: "Working with the IPL has provided a wonderful opportunity to identify and reach out to partners from the public sector with an interest in methane mitigation. Engagement with these partners has in turn informed the research, and increased its impact." - Jessika Trancik