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Obama’s EPA Overstates Pollution From Gas Fracking, Groups Say

The Obama administration overstated the greenhouse-gas emissions from unconventional natural-gas production, the American Petroleum Institute and the America’s Natural Gas Alliance said today in a study.

The two industry groups, which oppose U.S. regulation of hydraulic fracturing to extract gas from shale formations, found in the study that total-gas emissions during the process are about half the level estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The study responds to the EPA’s greenhouse-gases inventory released in 2011, which the organizations said “substantially increased estimates of methane emissions from petroleum and natural-gas systems.”

Venting methane into the air when unloading liquids at the well is about 86 percent lower than the EPA’s estimates, the study found.

In April, the EPA proposed rules that would force drillers to capture or flare methane released when fracking starts at a well. Industry groups said the requirements are too onerous, in part because they require actions many drillers are already taking.

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