Sir, Pilita Clark (“Climate Science looks to unlikely ally”, March 17) is incorrect in arguing that President Donald Trump’s pro-natural gas policies may help mitigate climate change.
Ms Clark misses two key problems associated with naturai gas policies in thè Trump administration. First, methane leakage. Numerous studies (see for example thè US Environmental Protection Agency’s recent inventory; thè Environmental Defense Fund’s excellent studies; and thè National Oceanie and Atmospheric Administration’s surprising 2014 study) and meta-analyses have found that most, and perhaps all, of thè reduced carbon dioxide emissions associated with increased naturai gas
Problems with Trump’s naturai gas policies
use and production are offset by increased methane emissions.
The Republican leadership in Congress has weakened thè Obama administration's efforts to reduce methane emissions. Congress recently invalidated criticai EPA regulations that targeted a subset of upstream methane emissions. Congress is currently considering thè invalidation of a US Bureau of Land Management regulation that addressed naturai gas venting, flaring, and leakages on federai and tribai lands.