Methane levels have steadily been on the rise and there’s a debate raging about the actual cause. Is it man-made? Or is it a naturally occurring event?

The results of a 10-year, worldwide study just referenced this spring, point to this culprit: bacteria.

“Our data indicate that the source of the increase was methane produced by bacteria, of which the most likely sources are natural, such as wetlands or agricultural, for example from rice paddies or livestock,” says Hinrich Schaefer, atmospheric scientist from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).


This science clearly takes fossil fuel production off the hook as the primary source of increased methane. Oil and natural gas producers have been constantly adapting and perfecting methods to reduce emissions nationwide.

The work they’ve done has reduced their methane emissions by 13 percent.

The largest reductions are from natural gas wells, that according to the most recent EPA data, have decreased by a whopping 83 percent.

The industry invested $90 billion – that’s with a “B”, in greenhouse gas-mitigating technologies between 2000 and 2014. That’s more than any other industry and nearly as much as the federal government spends on hammers. ($110.3 billion).

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