“The United States cannot achieve its targeted reduction in methane emissions under the Global Methane Pledge without a swift and large-scale decline in oil and gas sector methane leaks,” Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, wrote in a letter to the chief executives. “The existence of these leaks, as well as continued uncertainty regarding their size, duration, and frequency, threatens America’s ability to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”
Johnson wrote to most of the biggest fossil fuel producers in the Permian Basin, which extends from west Texas to New Mexico. They included ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Pioneer Natural Resources, as well as lesser-known companies including Ameredev II LLC, Coterra, Devon Energy, Admiral Permian Resources, and Mewbourne Oil.
ExxonMobil spokesman Casey Norton said the company’s plans align with the global methane goal. It plans to cut its own methane emissions 40 to 50 percent by 2026 compared with a decade earlier, while “developing, testing and deploying new methane detection and mitigation technologies.”
Pioneer Natural Resources Vice President Tadd Owens said that the company shares Johnson’s “interest in better understanding and minimizing methane emissions from the Permian Basin” and was “proud of the progress” it has made in methane and flaring reduction. He said it would take some time to provide a detailed reply to Johnson’s letter.