Methane Capture: Options for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction [September 17, 2009] [open pdf - 446KB]
"Research on climate change has identified a wide array of sources that emit greenhouse gases (GHGs). Among the six gases that have generally been the primary focus of concern, methane is the second-most abundant, accounting for approximately 8% of total U.S. GHG emissions in 2007. Methane is emitted from a number of sources. The most significant are agriculture (both animal digestive systems and manure management); landfills; oil and gas production, refining, and distribution; and coal mining. As Congress considers legislation to address climate change by capping or reducing GHG emissions, methane capture projects offer an array of possible reduction opportunities, many of which utilize proven technologies. Methane capture projects (e.g., landfill gas projects, anaerobic digestion systems) restrict the release of methane into the atmosphere. The methane captured can be used for energy or flared. Methane capture challenges differ depending on the source. Most methane capture technologies face obstacles to implementation, including marginal economics in many cases, restricted pipeline access, and various legal issues.[...]This report discusses legislative alternatives for addressing methane capture, sources of methane, opportunities and challenges for methane capture, and current federal programs that support methane recovery."
CRS Report for Congress, R40813