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View news from EPA initiatives and other domestic and international activities related to coal mine methane. To receive the next Coalbed Methane News by email, join the CMOP Network.

Coalbed Methane News

November 2014

Developments in China's Carbon Policy

Presented at September's UN Climate summit, the Global Carbon Project estimated that China's contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was at 28 percent. China is in the process of creating policies that would reduce GHG emissions 40-45 percent from 2005 levels. A major facet of delivering results is through the use of a national carbon market. Currently there are pilot carbon trading markets established in seven Chinese provinces, which if nationalized as planned in 2016, would create the world's largest carbon trading market. The carbon market could cover up to 4 billion tonnes of CO2e, and may reach a collective value of $65 billion by 2020, as estimated by the National Development and Reform Commission. The existing carbon market in China covers approximately 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2e at a value of roughly $140 million.


China's 13th Five Year Plan, which will be published in 2016, also includes a recommendation to cap coal consumption at 60 percent of the country's energy mix, which at the end of 2013 was at 67 percent. This is in an effort to reduce long term coal consumption and includes a restriction on low quality coal imports effective January 1st, 2015. If these policies are invoked and enforced, it could pose financial implications on countries that export coal to China, such as Australia and Indonesia, who are the largest exporters of coal to China .

See more: The Great Coal Cap (PDF, 48pp, 1.69 MB)Exit EPA
Charting China's Carbon Horizon Exit EPA

U.S. State Department Supports International Methane Reduction Through Funding Opportunities

As a part of the President's Climate Action Plan, Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged $15 million to the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation program to help curb methane emissions. The program will be administered by the World Bank, and will act as a "climate finance instrument to stimulate funding for projects that reduce methane pollution." Establishing the Facility is aimed at providing market stabilization for project developers, by paying a competitive and guaranteed price for each tonne of methane avoided by a project.

More Information: U.S. State Department Article

Methane Hotspot Identified Over U.S. Four Corners Area

An area around 2,500 square miles Located in the Four Corners area of the Southwest has been found to contain the highest levels of methane in the conterminous US that can be viewed from space. A study of satellite imagery captured from 2003 to 2009, conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and NASA, concluded that the area released about 590 thousand tonnes of methane into the atmosphere annually. These methane emissions from the extraction of fossil fuels were previously unaccounted for in prior emissions prediction totals. Ground observations were also conducted to validate observations of satellite imagery.

As the study predated widespread use of hydraulic fracturing, it is believed that the concentration of methane in the area is due to emissions that occur during production and processing of fossil fuels. The results of the study highlight that there may be valuable opportunities for lowering emissions by employing best practices for extraction and processing.


Image Source

See more: NASA Press Release
See more: The Biggest Methane Leak in America Is in New Mexico
See more: Four corners: The largest US methane anomaly viewed from space

Carbon Corner

Ohio Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Information

State legislator includes biologically derived methane gas to Ohio's renewable portfolio standard (RPS). This addition states that "Renewable energy resources do not have to be converted to electricity in order to be eligible to receive renewable energy credits. The rules shall specify that, for purposes of converting the quantity of energy derived from biologically derived methane gas to an electricity equivalent, one megawatt hour equals 3,412,142 British thermal units."

The bill went into effect September 13, 2014 and is set to include coal mine methane, landfill gas, agriculture methane, etc.

Details of Bill: Ohio RPS Bill

2013 to 2014 Comparison of Average Monthly Prices of Gas, Electricity and Carbon Offsets (ARB):

2013-2014 Average Monthly Price of Gas

Sources: Henry Hub Prices*, ARB Offset Prices** Exit EPA, Electricity Prices***

*Henry Hub gas prices are a widely accepted national indicator of gas prices, and therefore chosen for this display. **ARB Offset Prices shown represent all compliance offset protocols. The Mine Methane Capture protocol was not adopted until April 2014. ***Retail electricity prices displayed are for all sectors covering the entire U.S.


Upcoming Events

7th International Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases
5 - 7 November 2014
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Website: http://www.ncgg.info/ Exit EPA

Pre Conference Workshop – California Air Resources Board (ARB) Mine Methane Capture (MMC) Protocol
18 November 2014
Pittsburgh, PA
Website: http://www.cmm2014usconference.com/workshops.php Exit EPA

2014 U.S. Coal Mine Methane Conference
18 - 20 November 2014
Pittsburgh, PA
Website: www.cmm2014usconference.com Exit EPA

14th International Symposium on CBM/CMM and Shale Gas in China
16 - 17 December 2014
Beijing, China
Website:http://www.nios.com.cn/c/index_en/latestnews/12861.htmlExit EPA

Visit Workshops/Conferences for more >>

Recently Released Publications

The Global Methane Initiative
F. Ruiz, C. Boger, and R. Pilcher, October, 2014.
GMI article, World Coal Exit EPA (PDF, 4 pp, 1.5 MB)

Coal-Packed Methane Biofilter for Mitigation of Green House Gas Emissions from Coal Mine Ventilation Air
H. Limbri, C. Gunawan, T. Thomas, A. Smith, J. Scott, B. Rosche, April, 2014.
PLOSone.Org Exit EPA

Analysis of Coal Mine Methane Development Technology in China
Xin Sun et al, December, 2013.
http://www.scientific.net/ Exit EPA

CMM Flaring: Technology and Case Studies
CMOP Flaring Flyer, PDF Oct 2014 (2 pp, 395 KB)

Coal Mine Methane Mitigation and Utilization Technologies and Project Profiles
(also referred to as the Coal Mine Methane Technology Database)
CMOP CMM Tech Database, PDF Oct 2014 Exit EPA (35 pp, 423 KB)

Legal and Regulatory Status of CMM Ownership in Key Countries: Considerations for Decision Makers
Mongolian: EPA CMOP-Mongolian, PDF July 2014 (57 pp, 989 KB)
Russian: EPA CMOP-Russian, PDF July 2014 (60 pp, 1.0 MB)
Spanish: EPA CMOP-Spanish, PDF July 2014 (56 pp, 753 KB)

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