Lower Merion, Lower Merion Township, PA -- The House Democratic Policy Committee announced they will hold a public hearing in Havertown at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 to discuss the impact of methane leakage from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry on climate change.

Producing and transporting natural gas as an energy resource releases methane, a greenhouse gas. An increased rate in methane leakage is one of the biggest problems affecting the natural gas industry, and consequently the state of Pennsylvania that has fast risen as one of the country's leading natural gas resources. 

According to a new analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund, methane leaks from oil and gas sites located in Pennsylvania could potentially be five times greater than statistical reports given to state regulators. In total, the EDF analysis found that Pennsylvania's oil and gas wells and infrastructure leak more than 520,000 tons of methane annually, and the most common cause of the increased leakage was faulty equipment.

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The Environmental Defense Fund elected to examine Pennsylvania's methane leaks, as the state is anticipated to issue new rules in March in an attempt to reduce methane leaks from new oil and gas sites.

The hearing on Jan. 24 is being organized by state Rep. Greg Vitali, and will take place at the Haverford Township Administration Building (located at 1014 Darby Road, Havertown) in the commissioners meeting room.

Vitali, who is the Democratic chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, will lead the hearing, along with Policy Committee Chairman Michael Sturla.


Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr. Richard Alley, Professor of Geosciences, Penn State University;
  • Professor Donald A. Brown, Scholar in Residence and Professor of Sustainability Ethics and Law, Widener University Commonwealth Law School;
  • Dr. Tony Ingraffea, Emeritus Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University;
  • Professor Peter DeCarlo, Associate Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Drexel University;
  • Rob Altenburg, Director, PennFuture Energy Center;
  • Krish Ramamurthy, Director of Bureau of Air Quality, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection;
  • Andrew Williams, Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, U.S. Climate and Energy, Environmental Defense Fund;
  • Dr. Arvind Ravikumar, Assistant Professor of Energy Engineering, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology; and
  • Leann Leiter, Pennsylvania and Ohio Field Advocate, EarthWorks.


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