March 19, 2024
New Report Demonstrates Need for Mine Methane Capture, as Efforts to Address Fugitive Methane Emissions Gain Momentum

Appalachian Methane Initiative’s new report finds coal mine methane (CMM) is a contributor to total methane emissions, showcasing the need for incentivization and deployment of CMM capture technologies that are ready to be utilized today

Following the release of a new report by the Appalachian Methane Initiative (AMI), the Waste Gas Capture Initiative (WGCI) issued the following statement:

“AMI’s findings underscore the need to deploy CMM capture technologies, solutions that are ready to be utilized today,” said WGCI Executive Director Mike Moore. “CMM capture is commonsense solution that is proven to reduce methane emissions while providing jobs and economic benefits for communities across Appalachia most impacted by the energy transition. In light of AMI’s findings, there has never been a more crucial time to deploy this technology. The fact is that fewer than 2% of active mines in the U.S. are working to capture and use waste methane; the WGCI aims to change that by advocating for CMM capture efforts that will reduce methane emissions and support job creation.”

The AMI report comes amid growing momentum around efforts to incentivize the use of CMM capture technology. Federal lawmakers, for example, have introduced the bipartisan Methane Reduction and Economic Growth Act (MREGA) that would address methane capture, a gas 28 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, through expansion of the existing Section 45Q carbon capture tax credit.

 In December 2023, the U.S. Treasury Department issued proposed guidance that anticipates finalizing rules in which hydrogen production pathways using “fugitive methane, such as coal mine or coal bed methane” qualify for Section 45V hydrogen production tax credits. Through its Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also long stated that CMM capture is a known solution that would reduce methane emissions and help provide economic benefits. The Virginia Department of Energy recently issued a report, which outlined CMM capture’s “clear environmental benefits in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, as well as job opportunities and capital investment in Southwest Virginia.” 

The AMI report outlines results from its 2023 methane emissions pilot program, which monitored approximately 1,100 square miles of the Appalachian Basin. These results strengthen the case for incentivizing the deployment of CMM capture and utilization technologies to reduce overall methane emissions, while also creating jobs and economic opportunity across the Appalachian region.

About WGCI

The WGCI represents leading American energy industry partners, NGOs, and experts who are committed to recognizing the economic benefits and environmental impact of a strong mine methane capture industry. Visit and follow @WGCInitiative on X (formerly known as Twitter) and LinkedIn for more information.