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White House Introduces Regulations of Oil and Gas Methane Emissions

By Ilya Batikov

The Washington Post reports that the White House has proposed regulations that aim to reduce oil and gas methane emissions by 45% by the year 2025:

The Obama administration will seek to cut down on methane leaks from oil and gas drilling by up to 45 percent under a plan expected to be unveiled this week, officials familiar with the plans said Tuesday.

U.S. officials believe tighter regulation would prevent billions of cubic feet of gas from escaping into the atmosphere from drilling rigs and leaking pipes over the next decade. The new rules aimed at methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, would go into effect by 2016.

The proposal would include new Environmental Protection Agency requirements to control methane emissions from new or modified drilling equipment anywhere in the country, according current and former U.S. officials briefed on the plans. In addition, the Department of Interior will impose tighter regulations of both new and existing oil and gas facilities located on U.S. lands, the officials said.

Administration officials declined to comment on the proposals, which were due to be formally unveiled as early as Wednesday. But two officials familiar with the plan said the overall goal was to cut methane emissions from oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent by the year 2025, compared to 2012 levels.

The White House released a fact sheet outlining the proposed regulations. The EPA also released a fact sheet.

Tags: EPA, Methane Emissions, Oil and Gas, Energy

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