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TRUTHTELLING

This interactive database tracks what the 100 largest onshore oil and gas producers in the United States are saying and doing about their methane emissions. Among the findings:

Orange paper section of collage for greenwashing
Factory on waterfront with plumes of smoke billowing out into the sky
EMPTY PROMISES
AND GREENWASHING.
  • Over half (51%) of these companies haven’t bothered to put forward a public goal for reducing their methane pollution.

  • The levels of ambition vary considerably among those companies that do state their methane goals, baselines, and target years. 

  • Companies often deploy deceptive claims about becoming “net zero” or “near zero” producers.

  • Despite all the company goals, advertising, and lofty claims about slashing emissions, total methane pollution from the energy sector actually increased in 2023. Modest “methane intensity” improvements are failing to overcome an increase in oil and gas production.

No goal. No plan.

 

89% of these companies do not have a goal to reduce their total emissions footprint (commonly referred to as including their Scope 3 emissions,) and almost none have credible near-term targets in line with global climate science consensus for staying on track to achieve the Paris Agreement goals.

Black pen on a white book both slanted diagonally
Underestimated Damages.

 

Many companies' goals appear to be based simply on leakage estimates calculated in spreadsheets rather than direct, real-world measurements. Emissions estimates like those reported to the EPA have routinely been shown to drastically undercount actual pollution.

No Accountability.

 

Only 25% of top companies have agreed to participate in the United Nations Environment Programme’s Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0), a measurement-based reporting framework for the oil and gas industry.

Person with helmet on looks through a window of an aircraft down at an oil rig in the ocean
A History of Harm.

 

Over the last two decades and prior, these companies have amassed more than 2,700 environmental violations and have been forced to pay more than $44 billion in environmental penalties.

Real Evidence.

 

Dozens of news stories, as well as field investigators like Earthworks, have compiled evidence and real-world footage documenting rampant pollution events.

Metal structure emitting fire with a forest of trees in the background

Gas Producers are  allowed to backslide.

 

Company goals are not legally binding. They are only relevant if the companies announcing them remain committed and take the actions necessary to achieve them. Yet backsliding on oil and gas corporate sustainability goals has been commonplace when markets shift or executives turnover. In March 2024, Shell walked back some of their near-term climate goals following a similar move by BP in 2023.

GAS PRODUCER CLAIMS

"The uncomfortable truth that the industry needs to come to terms with is that successful clean energy transitions require much lower demand for oil and gas, which means scaling back oil and gas operations over time – not expanding them. There is no way around this. So while all oil and gas producers needs to reduce emissions from their own operations, including methane leaks and flaring, our call to action is much wider."

International Energy Agency (November 2023),

The Oil and Gas Industry in Net Zero Transitions

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