Emilie Rusch

Colorado School of Mines, Payne Institute for Public Policy launch Responsible Gas Initiative

Interdisciplinary effort aims to improve understanding of challenges, opportunities related to the future of natural gas in a low-carbon economy

The American shale gas revolution fundamentally altered the shape of the global energy landscape. The focus is now on the future of natural gas in a low-carbon future.  Environmental concerns have led regulators, investors and customers to place increased pressure on the industry to do more to address environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations. To confront this challenge, Colorado School of Mines and the Payne Institute for Public Policy have launched the Mines Responsible Gas Initiative.

The new initiative is part of Mines’ larger Global Energy Future Initiative and builds on the university’s status as one of the world’s top technical research universities in areas related to the earth, energy and the environment. The Responsible Gas Initiative is an interdisciplinary effort that spans departments to be a leader in the future of responsibly produced and delivered gas.

“We have established the Responsible Gas Initiative to help better understand the challenges and opportunities related to the future of natural gas in a low-carbon economy,” said Morgan Bazilian, director of the Payne Institute. “We will continue to work with partners and collaborators from industry, government and communities to define the prospects for responsibly produced gas, using world-class data analytics and independent assessment.”

Foundational collaborations include The Continuous Monitoring Program, a partnership between the Payne Institute and emissions monitoring company Project Canary. Through the program, Payne provides data science services using continuous monitoring data from oil and gas locations of participating companies.

“Collaborating with the Mines Responsible Gas Initiative team is the perfect match. Their technical depth and expertise match our equal dedication to science and engineering. The foundation for a responsible gas market has tremendous implications for combating climate risks at scale because technology can deliver industry impacts in real-time, which allows for actionable performance improvements. This new era of data transparency will enable operators to move toward net-zero emissions," said Chris Romer, CEO and co-founders of Project Canary. "Project Canary will play a leading role in this movement by applying our TrustWell™ by Project Canary operational certification to establish ESG benchmarks and continuous monitoring for rapid-response mitigation. Using trusted and independent data will ensure the highest standards and enable the long-term viability of the natural gas industry."

The Responsible Gas Initiative will also integrate monitoring from satellites, aircraft, drones, and continuous sensors in the field. This integration helps identify and locate events, quickly alert operators to begin maintenance and repair, quantify emissions, and support regulators, investors, and communities.

Through this new initiative, Mines aims to bring its deep expertise in petroleum engineering, data analytics, computer science and environmental engineering to the challenge of responsibly produced gas. Critical to this approach is the continued need for detailed scientific and engineering research, closely coupled with crosscutting work on policy, markets, environment, social license and regulation. The Responsible Gas Initiative will also include a graduate curriculum, student recruitment and graduate certificate program.

“This new initiative is aimed squarely at the cutting-edge of data science to better inform the complex landscape of the future of the natural gas industry,” Bazilian said.

For more information about the Responsible Gas Initiative, go to

Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

Director of Communications
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.