top of page

Say NO to methane gas greenwashing.

“Certified” gas is a recipe for climate disaster



Recent attention on runaway methane pollution has spawned a new industry of monitoring companies claiming to “certify” that oil and gas producers are reducing methane emissions from their fracking wells. While no standards currently exist for the certification process, companies are racing ahead to charge the public more for gas they claim has been "certified" as producing fewer emissions, while expanding the market for a greenwashed fossil fuel that worsens the climate crisis.

The science is clear: We can’t meet our climate goals without transitioning away from polluting methane gas. Truly emissions-free gas is not possible, and no amount of methane pollution is safe for people and the planet. The fossil fuel industry is racing ahead to turn “certified” gas into a lifeline, enabling it to extract as much profit as possible by justifying more fracking, pipelines, and polluting export facilities.



Earthwork's Logo
Oil Change International's Logo.png
Gas Leaks' logo.png



Sign up here to stay up to date on methane gas greenwashing.


An icon of the earth on fire

Natural” gas is mostly methane, a climate super-pollutant that warms the planet more than 80 times as much as carbon dioxide.

An icon of a broken pipeline that is leaking gas

Methane leaks constantly — from fracking wells, pipelines, storage facilities and even the appliances in our homes.

An icon of a gas production facility

Research shows “certification” companies frequently fail to register the pollution they are supposed to be monitoring, raising questions about the validity of “certified” gas schemes.

An icon with a triangular warnign sign, with clouds to the right of it

We can’t meet our climate goals without transitioning away from polluting methane gas. Truly emissions-free gas is not possible, and no amount of methane pollution is safe for people and the planet.




Gas Leaks

February 12, 2024

Senators Call for Crack Down on "Certified" Gas Greenwashing

Today a group of Senators led by Ed Markey urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to crack down on the fossil fuel industry’s marketing of “certified” natural gas — an increasingly popular but completely unregulated concept that claims to produce gas with lower methane emissions.


Certified Disasters

January 25, 2024

Gas Certification Programs Will Never Motivate the Worst Polluters

The oil and gas industry claims programs to “certify” gas will reduce emissions and allow them to market their gas as clean and safe for the climate. But a look at the companies that have committed to certification, and those who haven’t, highlights why voluntary programs fail to motivate the worst methane polluters – and why gas certification isn’t a viable climate solution.



What is "certified" gas?

The oil and gas industry is paying companies to monitor methane pollution from their well sites and “certify” that they are working to reduce the amount of methane they release into the atmosphere. To date, there is no set standard for what level of methane leak reduction qualifies gas as “certified” or “responsibly sourced.”

Where is the methane leaking from? How much methane is released from the gas system?

Gas leaks at every step of the process. Drillers diliberately vent it into the air at fracking wells. It leaks from more than 3 million miles of aging pipelines that crisscross the country. And it leaks from furnaces and stoves in our homes and buildings, even when they’re turned off. When all these leaks are taken into account, the full climate impact of methane gas may be just as bad as coal. Researchers have found that if 3% of gas leaks before it reaches the end user, it would put the climate impacts of gas on par with coal. Multiple studies have documented leakage rates higher than 3% — as high as 9% in the Permian Basin.

If we take care of the methane problem, is gas environmentally friendly?

Gas is responsible for more than one-third of US climate pollution, even under conservative estimates of methane leakage. According to climate and energy modeling experts like the International Energy Agency, averting catastrophic climate outcomes requires an urgent shift away from fossil fuels like methane gas — including no new oil and gas drilling and no new gas furnaces installed by 2025.

Who is in charge of monitoring methane pollution from the gas system?

The oil and gas industry mostly self-reports its methane pollution, and is actively fighting efforts to strengthen monitoring practices.

Can the oil and gas industry get its methane problem under control?

Methane pollution is an inevitable part of extracting, transporting and burning gas. As a byproduct of oil drilling, the fossil fuel industry routinely burns it or vents it directly into the air. Methane is also purposefully vented from pipelines during routine maintenance inspections or when excess pressure creates an explosion hazard. Even if the fossil fuel industry were able to plug every leak in the more than 3 million miles of pipelines across the country, the gas system would still emit large amounts of methane.

Isn’t it good for the oil and gas industry to reduce methane pollution? What are the risks of a federal standard for “certified” gas?

Absolutely! The oil and gas industry will soon be required to address its methane pollution problem thanks to forthcoming protections from the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Methane Emissions Reduction Program passed by Congress in the Inflation Reduction Act. But a government-sanctioned “certified” gas program threatens to give the fossil fuel industry credit for simply doing the bare minimum to meet their legal obligation to avoid methane pollution. And it gives the industry a free opportunity to misleadingly advertise their product to the public as “clean” or “sustainable.” Despite the scientific consensus about the need to move away from methane gas, the industry is rapidly expanding the gas system: • It plans to double or triple its export capacity on the Gulf Coast, polluting the air and water in communities of color. • It has applied for permits for more than 469 miles of new major gas pipelines that would produce as much pollution as adding more than 200,000 new gas-powered cars on the road. • It connects a new building to the gas system once a minute in the United States, ensuring that they will burn methane in furnaces, water heaters and stoves for decades to come. Despite the serious flaws inherent in the concept of “certified” gas, gas utilities are already paying a higher price for it and passing the extra costs on to the public. The industry is also advertising its use of “certified” gas, leading the public to believe that continued expansion of the gas system is environmentally sustainable.

Use the map below to see methane pollution events that “certified” gas companies missed:

An icon of a gas production facility

Click on the yellow and red icons to view the details of each instance we found pollution and find out whether Project Canary monitors captured it too.

bottom of page