Reducing Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector: An RCT of policy and technology solutions
Curbing methane emissions is key to addressing climate change, and Colorado is at the forefront of methane regulation in the oil and gas sector. Researchers partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to improve monitoring of methane emissions from oil and gas facilities and assess the effectiveness of new tools in decreasing emissions. Since 2018, they have developed a machine learning model that CDPHE has adopted for inspection targeting and implemented two randomized evaluations to evaluate the impact of providing firms information about 1) their predicted leak risk, and 2) observed leaks. Researchers will conduct a randomized evaluation to test the impact of increased regulatory scrutiny applying new, continuous emissions monitoring technology on operator behavior and emissions. This study will isolate the mechanism through which earlier information interventions reduced emissions. Researchers will measure outcomes using inspection data and their own mobile air monitoring lab.