There are two major sources of greenhouse gas emissions – carbon dioxide and methane.
Carbon dioxide is by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency has developed an annual report that provides a national inventory of all GHGs associated with human activity since 1990. The report shows that CO2 emissions account for over 80 percent of the GHG inventory, while methane accounts for just nine percent.
The gas transmission industry CO2 emissions comprise just 0.5 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas systems have a relatively small carbon footprint compared with overall emissions largely because of the low-carbon content of natural gas. In fact, due to its low-carbon content, natural gas can play a significant role in helping to reduce GHG emissions when used in place of other fossil fuels in end-use applications such as power generation, commercial or industrial applications.
INGAA believes natural gas will serve as a primary fuel for generations to come. Because of the growth in domestic natural gas production, some are concerned about methane emissions from natural gas and natural gas transportation.
Natural gas is composed primarily of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas, and is at least 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the primary contributor to climate change. Leaks and venting of natural gas (methane) contribute to greenhouse emissions. Because of this, INGAA members are working hard to reduce leaks along their pipelines systems and control emissions from compressor stations.