Several Oklahoma energy producers are ranked among the country's top polluters, according to a new report by two environmental advocacy groups.
The report by Ceres and the Clean Air Task Force analyzed 2019 EPA Data. Chesapeake, Devon and Continental all ranked in the top 10 worst companies for greenhouse gas emissions.
“From what I read in this report, it’s pretty detailed and very data driven, and they give you access to the data,” OCU Minders School of Business Dean Steve Agee said.
The report focused at two major types of greenhouse gases, Methane and CO2.
“If the valves have leaks in them or if they have seals that are leaking you could emit methane gas as a result of that,” Agee said. “(CO2 is) more of items that require fuel consumption, compressors, natural gas compressors, heater treaters things on the lease premises that can generate CO2 emissions.”
Agee and Dean Sergent, executive director of OU’s Ronnie K. Irani Center for Energy Solutions, agree energy companies are facing increased outside pressure to reduce their emissions.
“There’s a growing segment of the financial community that is trying to turn away from oil and gas companies in terms of investments because of the environmental impact they’re having,” Agee said.
“Companies are establishing entire departments that are focused on E.S.G. Environmental, social and governance issues are front and center, not just an oil and gas but all in industries,” Sergent said.
Earlier this year, Chesapeake Energy announced plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
The Oklahoma Petroleum Alliance points to EPA data showing industry emissions have dropped by 17 percent since 1990.
Agee said the push to make the industry more environmentally friendly will likely only grow stronger.
“It is going to continue to ramp up, especially with the new administration in Washington, they’re going to be more environmentally conscientious,” he said.