Exxon Mobil has taken a bold step that will bolster its climate change mitigation efforts. In a statement, the energy giant said that it was working on a plan that would help it reduce its emission of methane. This is a powerful greenhouse gas that has its origin from natural gas and oil production. The gas can also be emitted into the atmosphere during pipeline operations. While methane is said to originate from multiple places such as from ranch operations and decomposing landfills, the biggest emitter of leaked methane is the oil and gas industry. Nature scientists say that the gas traps heat into the earth’s atmosphere 80 times more compared to carbon dioxide in a period of 20 years. With Exxon Mobil being the biggest natural gas producer in the United States, its actions will serve as an example to other companies in the oil industry. While some companies in the oil industry have refused to implement methane control programs terming them as burdensome, Exxon Mobil and other big players in the market are taking up the challenge. The announcement was made by XTO Energy president Sara Ortwein. She said that the main goal of the mission is to reduce methane emissions being made by her company.
To achieve this, she said that they would use the most efficient and latest technologies. If natural gas is to be considered as a clean alternative than coal, there is the need to cut the leak emissions. According to research, the amount of natural gas allowed to escape in America through leaks is enough to serve the needs of cooking and heating of seven million homes. Scientists say that the effect of such gases in a period of two years will equal the warming that can be produced by 240 coal-fired plants. Exxon Mobil has been conducting a pilot plan in West Texas. Following the conclusion of this project, the company wants to implement a three-year plan to control methane emission into the atmosphere. At the moment, the company is involved in a test that is using compressed air for control rather than gas. This effort was praised by Mark Brownstein. Mr. Brownstein is the vice president of Environmental Defense Fund. He said that Exxon Mobil was doing quite well in an era when other companies were clawing back to inaction giving all sorts of excuses. He said that Exon Mobil had shown its responsiveness to the local community.