According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks,” methane accounts for about 10% of U.S. greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Of this, one-quarter is from the natural gas industry.

Expressed as a percent of natural gas production, this equates to 1.3% of production. While other studies have suggested much higher emissions levels, some as high as 7.9%, the most recent and most comprehensive non-EPA study—a multiyear study organized by the Environmental Defense Fund and involving various universities and research organizations—found emissions only slightly higher at 1.7%. The paper tabulates emissions for both crude oil and natural gas systems at 2.3% of gas production. Consulting service ICF International estimates that the natural gas portion equates to 1.7% of emissions.

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